Aaron Hernandez’s estate suing NFL, Patriots over evidence of brain disease

By John Krinjak

Email: jkrinjak@abc6.com

Twitter: @johnkrinjakABC6

BOSTON, Mass. (WLNE) — Lawyers for former Patriot Aaron Hernandez announced late Thursday afternoon that they will sue the NFL and the Patriots over the results of a newly-released brain study. 

According to the study, Hernandez, who committed suicide earlier this year, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy–a severe brain disease. 

Experts found Hernandez, who was 27 when he died, had stage three CTE–a degenerative disease found in people with repeated head trauma, including football players.

"There were studies done by the NFL. The NFL had made certain representations to players during the time that Aaron was playing, and those representations turned out to be false, and for that reason we have pursued this lawsuit," said Hernandez family lawyer Jose Baez. 

Researchers said this was the most severe case of CTE they’d ever seen in someone of Hernandez’s age.

"Everyone especially his family is deeply troubled by this whole thing," said Baez. 

Baez suggested this could pave the way for other lawsuits by other players.

"If we have to be groundbreakers in this area it’s something we’re prepared to do," said Baez. 

He said if Hernandez had known about all this, things may have turned out differently. 

"Our client may have been able to understand what was happening to him, and that could have ultimately prevented his death," said Baez.

Hernandez was found guilty of murder back in 2015. That conviction was erased when he died.

He was acquitted of a separate double murder days before his suicide.

There are still two wrongful death suits pending against Hernandez’s estate in that second case. Baez said Thursday he does not expect that the results of the brain study would have any impact on that.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017