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NBC dropped from Merlin Olsen asbestos case

According to court documents, the attorneys in late football legend Merlin Olsen's asbestos case have decided to drop NBC as a defendant after an investigation reportedly revealed that the network was not responsible for exposing Olsen to the asbestos during his employment with NBC.

Prior to his death, Olsen had a long and successful career as a professional football player, sports commentator and actor. After he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, Olsen filed a lawsuit against several defendants, including NBC, alleging that they were responsible for the asbestos exposure that caused him to contract the disease.

In March of 2010, just four months after he filed the mesothelioma lawsuit, Olsen succumbed to the disease. He was 69 years old. Following his death, his wife became the lead plaintiff in his asbestos case, hoping to achieve Olsen's stated goal of "[making] a difference for other asbestos victims" with his lawsuit.

In the suit, Olsen alleged that his mesothelioma diagnosis was the result of a "significant cumulative lifetime exposure to many asbestos products," such as construction materials used on film and television sets, heavy equipment parts, and various other construction and consumer products he encountered in his career and personal life.

Originally, the lawsuit named NBC as a defendant, alleging that the television network was at least partially responsible for exposing Olsen to the asbestos that ultimately killed him. After a year-long investigation, however, Olsen's attorneys made the decision to drop NBC from the lawsuit, stating that it was not responsible for Olsen's exposure.

Source: Contra Costa Times, "Lawyers in Merlin Olsen case drop NBC from asbestos lawsuit," 20 June 2011

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