The family of late football and television star Merlin Olsen has reportedly reached a settlement in their asbestos lawsuit against several companies that are believed to have caused the actor’s mesothelioma diagnosis and eventual death.
Olsen filed his asbestos lawsuit in December 2009 after learning that he had mesothelioma. He passed away just four months later at the age of 69. Following his death, his wife and three children continued with the lawsuit on his behalf.
Originally, NBC was named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but Olsen’s attorneys dropped NBC from the suit after a year-long investigation revealed that the network was likely not responsible for Olsen’s exposure to asbestos. Olsen had worked for NBC on the television series “Little House on the Prairie” as well as major league football broadcasts. You can read more about the decision to remove NBC as a defendant in one of our earlier asbestos lawsuit blog posts.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Olsen was exposed to asbestos products when he worked in construction during his youth. Ten companies were charged with manufacturing or using those asbestos products during the period of Olsen’s exposure. Those companies ultimately agreed to settle the lawsuit with Olsen’s family for an undisclosed sum of money.
Before he worked as an actor and a football commentator for the NFL, Olsen was a Hall of Fame football player. He is best remembered for his years spent playing for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1960s, where he was a member of the famed “Fearsome Foursome.”
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, “Merlin Olsen’s heirs settle asbestos lawsuit in LA,” Sept, 20, 2011