Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee has filed suit against both the Patriots and the NFL, accusing the organizations of bringing about the severe head injuries that Hernandez suffered throughout his career that may have been responsible for causing him to commit suicide in prison.
In the suit, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez claimed that her fiancé’s severe CTE – or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that is typically found in professional athletes who suffer repeated blows to the head – made him one of many athlete’s whose deaths by suicide have been tied to the condition.
Researchers determined that Hernandez’s brain showed signs of CTE that was “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age,” the New York Times reported. The disease, which can only be diagnosed posthumously, was diagnosed in a slew of other former NFL players who committed suicide.
According to Jose Baez, Hernandez’s lawyer, his brain showed a level of damage that is typically seen in former players with a median age of 67 years. In a suit filed on behalf of Hernandez’s daughter, Avielle, Baez claimed that the Patriots and the NFL were “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.”
By filing the suit, Shayanna-Hernandez is reportedly seeking for her daughter “redress for the loss of parental consortium she has experienced based on the negligent conduct of Defendants that deprived her the companionship and society of her father, Aaron Hernandez.”
Hernandez was found hanged in his prison cell back in April, where he was serving a life sentence after being found guilty in the murder of Odin Lloyd. His death came shortly after Hernandez was found not guilty of a double homicide, and he was planning to appeal his conviction in the Lloyd case.