Prior court’s rulings on two cases stand, resulting in major victory for Open Records
The Kentucky Supreme Court won’t review a case concerning whether the state can withhold records identifying shareholders in Braidy Industries, which means prior rulings requiring the documents’ release will stand, a lawyer for the Courier Journal said.
The state was one of the earliest investors in Braidy Industries, which plans to build a $1.7 billion aluminum rolling mill in Eastern Kentucky. The company has attracted more investors since the state signed on, including a Russian aluminum company called United Co. Rusal.
Courier Journal attorney Jon Fleischaker said the state’s highest court denied a request from Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration asking to weigh in on an appellate court decision that said the names of Braidy investors should be publicly available.
That decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeals earlier this year upheld a 2018 ruling by Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd, who determined the state isn’t legally allowed to withhold public records that identify Braidy shareholders.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — After a 3 1/2 year legal battle, secret records about Purdue Pharma’s marketing of its potent opioid painkiller OxyContin will finally be made public. The Kentucky Supreme Court denied a request from Purdue to review lower courts’ decisions to release the documents, according to a one-page order received Monday by the lawyers in the case.
The decision is a major victory for STAT, which first filed a motion to unseal the records in March 2016. Purdue has fought to keep the documents out of view, but the Supreme Court’s refusal is final and can’t be appealed.
Now, the public stands to get a glimpse of new information about how Purdue promoted OxyContin and what executives knew about the risk of addiction that came with the drug. The company’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin has been blamed by some analysts for helping trigger an opioid addiction epidemic. Overdoses related to prescription opioids have claimed 200,000 lives in the last two decades, and there are now nearly 100 opioid deaths every day in the U.S., many from heroin and the synthetic opioid fentanyl.