The family of Aaron Hernandez is suing the National Football League (NFL) after finding out the late athlete had severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). According to ESPN, the former football star's lawyer said the family is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for making him believe the sport was safe.
Researchers who looked at the 27-year-old's brain determined it was “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age,” shared lawyer Jose Baez in a news conference today, per the New York Times. Baez said Hernandez's brain shows a level of damage more in line with players with a median age of 67 years.
Baez has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Patriots and the NFL on behalf of Hernandez’s young daughter Avielle. The suit seeks unspecified damages for loss of parental support and alleges that the team and the league 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.”
The NFL responded via a statement: “We have not seen a copy of the suit and cannot comment at this time.”
As ESPN shares, CTE can be caused by repeated head trauma and leads to symptoms like violent mood swings, depression and other cognitive difficulties. CTE can be diagnosed only posthumously by examining the brain.
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