In opioid lawsuits, 1 state opts to stay on the sidelines

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- The nation's opioid addiction crisis has prompted every state except Nebraska to pursue legal action against drugmakers, distributors or pharmaceutical companies.

The attorney general in Nebraska has been active in combatting opioid addiction, but so far has remained on the sidelines while other states and thousands of local governments have filed lawsuits.

So far, 48 states have filed claims to recover damages they say are caused by the opioid crisis, which played a part in the deaths of more than 390,000 Americans from 2000 through 2017. Michigan's attorney general has announced her intention to sue. She's solicited bids from outside law firms to handle the case.

Some local government lawyers in Nebraska question whether the approach by Attorney General Doug Peterson is the right one.

The Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson's Office released the following statement:

“We continue to consider the litigation option, as we are in regular conversations with both our state partners in the Purdue multistate, and national litigation counsel to ascertain the progress in settlement discussions.”