The daughter of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, who killed himself in April after being acquitted in his second murder trial, sued the league and the team on Thursday after tests revealed her father had a "severe case" of the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
According to an announcement from an attorney who represented Aaron Hernandez, researchers who examined Hernandez's brain found a severe case of CTE, the degenerative brain disease linked to concussions and repetitive head trauma.
Jose Baez, a lawyer for Hernandez, said researches determined the CTE was "the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron's age (27)".
Neurologists who studied Hernandez's brain also found that the player "had early brain atrophy and large perforations in the septum pellucidum, a central membrane", according to a BU release. The center released a statement saying Hernandez had Stage 3 CTE; the scale runs from one to four.More news: This is one Modi idea Rahul wishes Congress had
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Boston on behalf of Hernandez's 4-year-old daughter. CTE can only be diagnosed in an autopsy.
Hernandez murdered semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in June 2013. Behavioral symptoms of people found to have CTE have included depression, emotional instability, anger and violence, and memory loss.
Per a technicality in MA state law, Hernandez's existing murder conviction was vacated due to him not going through the automatic appeals process that would have confirmed or overturned the 2015 conviction. Prosecutors had argued that Hernandez gunned the two men down after one accidentally spilled a drink on him in a nightclub, and then got a tattoo of a handgun and the words "God Forgives" to commemorate the crime.