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Judge Backs Knox News' Bid to Unseal Latest Big Pharma Opioid Lawsuit

A Knox County judge refused a bid on Friday for secrecy by a pharmacy supplier accused in a lawsuit of conspiring with Big Pharma to profiteer from the opioid epidemic fueled by the industry.

AmerisourceBergen, a top Fortune 500 company that sold over 712 million pills to Tennessee pharmacies in eight years, wanted Knox County Circuit Court Judge Kristi Davis to keep secret its client list and details about the misdeeds the state attorney general’s office alleges in a lawsuit that has been under seal for months now.

Knox News intervened to break the seal, and Davis agreed.

Judge Kristi Davis presides over a hearing over the News Sentinel’s bid to unseal the Tennessee attorney general’s lawsuit against opiate supplier AmerisourceBergen on Friday.

“The Tennessee Constitution provides the courts shall be open," she said. “This is of such a magnitude to the public … the public’s interests and the public’s right to know are significant and outweigh (the firm’s privacy claim)."

At a hearing Friday, Knox News attorney Richard Hollow argued the firm’s bid for secrecy was baseless and galling.

“(The firm) sold one million Oxycontin pills to this one pharmacy in (Knoxville) in 2008,” he said. “What is the reason for this?

How could you say one million Oxycontins in a year period is not a red flag? Somehow, somebody missed that flag. … We have a really bad situation here. The gatekeeper is the public. We say the public has a right to know.”

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