Clark County commissioners vote to file lawsuit against opioid manufacturers

Opioid crisis (MGN Online)

Clark County commissioners are taking a bold move to fight a growing opioid drug crisis that’s been sweeping the nation.

Commissioners agreed to sue major opioid drug makers despite objections from Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

The suit claims drug makers played a role in the opioid epidemic and wants damages for the cost of addiction services and law enforcement for opioid-related crimes.

The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has been declared a state of emergency.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 91 Americans die every day from an overdose involving opioids. The National Governor's Association reports Nevada has the fourth-highest death rate in the country for overdoses.

Commissioner Steve Sisolak says he is pleased with the board's decision. He said he agrees the blame doesn't fall solely on the manufacturers but says these lawsuits are a step in the right direction.

"I think it's important that the public get some protection and we try and put a stop to it,” he said. “The time of talking has passed. We need to do something proactively, and I think that's what we did today."

But Laxalt says he thinks it's best if the county doesn't pursue legal action and instead leaves it up to the state. Nevada is already part of a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers that involves at least 40 other states.

Laxalt's office released this statement:

"While This office commends the determination to protect Clark County residents, we continue to believe Nevada is best positioned in the bipartisan multistate effort of 40 attorneys general. We hope that any lawsuits by local jurisdictions do not unintentionally undermine our ongoing bipartisan investigation.”

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