The former New England Patriot took his own life while behind bars, serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. Doctors who examined Hernandez's brain say they found brown spots and holes in his brain, signs of CTE that also indicate the disease was in an advanced stage, despite Hernandez being only 27 years old when he died.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Boston on behalf of Hernandez's 4-year-old daughter on Thursday.
The lawsuit alleges that the Patriots and the league had a duty to educate and warn Hernandez of the risks and effects of repeated head trauma playing football that could lead to CTE. Hernandez had just been acquitted in a separate double slaying. She also claims that the National Football League and the Patriots knew about the link between CTE and suicidal impulses and failed to share that information with Hernandez, who ended his own life while in prison this past April.
The CTE Center statement added that he had "severe deposition of tau protein in the frontal lobes of the brain" as well as a "deposition of tau protein in nerve cells around small blood vessels, a unique feature of CTE". "We can not hide our heads in the sand when we see these cases and say, 'maybe not.' If we keep hiding we will keep collecting more cases like Hernandez".
If anyone from the concussion lobby in this country is asking for my advice, it's simple: Steer clear of Aaron Hernandez.
Balsam, the former N.F.L. lawyer, suggested that Baez, through the suit, is hoping for the remainder of Hernandez's $40 million contract extension he signed in 2012. Researchers are seeking to identify genes that may make certain people susceptible to damage from head blows, and they believe drugs and alcohol might also play a role.
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Puncheon, 31, said: "We like playing against the top teams - I don't know why". Against Burnley, they created a lot of chances.
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But with the post-mortem medical announcement, Baez has apparently found a promising way to turn Hernandez into a sympathetic figure by redirecting the blame to the NFL.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had not yet seen the lawsuit and could not comment.
The NFL has said little about the matter. So, in theory, Baez could argue that because Hernandez technically is no longer guilty of murder, the Patriots should repay his family the money he did not receive.
But Hernandez changed his positive narrative when he was arrested in 2013 for the murder of semi-pro football player, Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.
"Everyone, including and especially his family, is deeply troubled by this whole thing", Baez said with Jenkins-Hernandez beside him, as reported by the Boston Globe.
"If we have to be groundbreakers in this area, it's something we're prepared to do", he said.