Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III is seeking to make the State of Tennessee’s Complaint filed against Purdue Pharma on May 15, 2018 in Knox County Circuit Court available to the public. Under a court order, Purdue had ten days from the date the company was served with the lawsuit to ask the Court to keep the Complaint under seal. Purdue has now asked the Court to redact most of the State’s Complaint.
The State supported the allegations in the Complaint with notes from Purdue’s sales representatives recounting what they told health care providers in sales calls, notes from Purdue sales representatives that speak to the company’s knowledge of red flags for abuse or diversion of OxyContin, data about the company’s opioid sales in Tennessee, and other materials. Purdue marked much of this evidence as confidential. The Office of the Attorney General followed the terms of the confidentiality agreement which allows the State to file a complaint containing this information. Now Purdue asserts these references are trade secrets and is seeking to have them restricted from public view.
“Commercial misrepresentations do not constitute a legitimate trade secret,” General Slatery said. “The allegations in the Complaint are based on Purdue’s responses to civil investigative demands made by our Office; they were not voluntary disclosures. We will continue to work to make the State’s Complaint available to the public and hold Purdue accountable.”
After a hearing date is set, the State will respond to Purdue’s motion and request the Complaint be made public and not redacted.