Settlement talks over the weekend failed to resolve Washington state's multibillion-dollar claim against the tobacco industry for the health-care costs of treating sick smokers.

Opening statements were to begin Monday in what could be the first lawsuit against the industry to go to a final jury verdict. Four states - Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Minnesota - have reached out-of-court settlements for a combined $36.8 billion.Negotiations on a multistate settlement that would include Washington continued through the weekend with two of the defendants, but lawyers on both sides said the talks did not produce a settlement.

The lawsuit filed by Attorney General Christine O. Gregoire accuses the tobacco industry of conspiring to violate antitrust and consumer-protection laws, restraining and suppressing health research, manipulating cigarette nicotine levels without disclosure and threatening retaliation against companies that marketed safer cigarettes.