Aaron Hernandez’s Daughter Files Negligence Suit Against NFL

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Elizabeth DiNardo,
Legal Staff Writer

The 4-year-old daughter of deceased former National Football League (NFL) star, Aaron Hernandez, has filed suit against the New England Patriots and NFL claiming that the organizations’ negligence led the football star to commit suicide at age 27 in April 2017. At the time of his death, Hernandez was serving a life sentence in prison for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.

In the complaint, filed in Massachusetts federal court, Avielle Hernandez, through her mother Shyanna Jenkins Hernandez, claims that at the time of his death her father had developed a severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy after being exposed to reoccurring head impact injuries during his tenure in the NFL. To bolster her case, Ms. Hernandez points to testing done on her fathers brain by Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center which revealed that the deceased football player had been suffering from stage three (out of four) of the disease. The advanced state of the disease in Hernandez’s brain surprised researchers since he was only 27 at the time of death and stage three is typically seen in retired players at around 67 years of age. Side effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”) include impulse control issues, aggression, depression, dementia and suicidal tendencies. The plaintiff argues that the defendants failed to disclose, treat or protect her father from the dangers of CTE, which is commonly found in athletes who engage in high contact sports.

This is not the first lawsuit that the NFL has faced over allegations of negligence towards players health. In 2015, the NFL agreed to an uncapped settlement to pay thousands of players and former players who argued that the League failed to protect them from the dangers of CTE.

The case is: Hernandez v. National Football League et al, Case No.: 1:17-cv-11812, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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