Merlin Olsen Files Mesothelioma Lawsuit Against NBC and Others

Football great and actor Merlin Olsen, who recently divulged that he has been diagnosed with the rare asbestos cancer mesothelioma, has decided to file lawsuits against an astounding number of companies.

Olsen, who filed his suit on December 31st, 2009 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claims that was exposed to asbestos not only when he did manual labor as a child, but also later in life when he worked with drywall. Perhaps most incredibly, Olsen also claims that NBC, NBC Universal, and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation also improperly exposed him to asbestos material which led to his cancer.

All of the defendants, according to the suit, “were engaged in the business of manufacturing, fabricating, designing, assembling, distributing, leasing, buying, selling, inspecting, servicing, installing, repairing, marketing, warranting and advertising a certain substance the generic name of which is asbestos.”

Asbestos is a known carcinogen which used to be commonly found in the construction and manufacturing industries, because it was remarkably resistant to heat, fire and chemical corrosion.

Olsen, whose claims to fame include his performance as a member of the Los Angeles Rams, his work as a sportscaster, and his roles on such television show as “Little House on the Prairie” and “Father Murphy,” claimed in the suit that mesothelioma “is a vicious, painful and invariably fatal malignancy,” for which there is no cure.

Mesothelioma strikes approximately 3,000 new patients each year in the United States. It is rarely operable and only marginally receptive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Many patients, especially those who are diagnosed with advanced cases of mesothelioma, opt only to pursue pain management techniques, since the side effects of traditional treatment methods are often taxing and unpleasant.

Olsen is currently undergoing chemotherapy. He and his wife, Susan, are suing for unspecified damages from the numerous companies named in the suit.