The late Aaron Hernandez, who played three seasons with the Patriots, had a “severe” case of Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy.
Lawyer Jose Baez said that Hernandez’s estate has filed a federal lawsuit against the NFL and the Patriots, arguing that the league was “fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries and failed to disclose, treat, or protect him from the dangers of such damage.” Baez did not rule out adding the NCAA or the University of Florida as defendants.
Baez may have no choice but to do so, since the case against the NFL and the Patriots may not last very long. Hernandez presumably is bound by the terms of the concussion settlement. Unless he opted out of the class action, his ability to file a lawsuit would have been blocked by the agreement that created a compensation system for former players. Hernandez has not played football since the settlement was reached.
He stopped playing, of course, because he was accused and convicted of murder. Baez successfully defended Hernandez against separate double murder charges, and Hernandez committed suicide not long after that.
The NFL did not immediately respond to the news by contending that Hernandez’s lawsuit is blocked by the settlement.
“We have not seen a copy of the suit and cannot comment at this time,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT by email.