On Thursday, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who committed suicide in April while serving a life sentence for murder, was with a “severe” case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease linked to head trauma. The New York Times reported that diagnosis, as well as the fact that Hernandez’s lawyer, Jose Baez, plans to sue the NFL and the Patriots for $20 million on behalf of Hernandez’s 4-year-old daughter.
“Aaron Hernandez succumbed to the symptoms of CTE,” the suit states, in part. “As a result of the defendants’ conduct and the injury experienced by Aaron, Avielle Hernandez was deprived of the love, affect, society and companionship of her father while he was alive.”
The NFL responded to news of the suit Friday, telling reporters on a conference call, “We intend to contest the claims vigorously,” according to USA Today. The report noted that the suit could face a potential issue that could derail the claim that the Patriots and/or the NFL should be held financially responsible: