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Exam finds Aaron Hernandez had CTE, estate sues NFL and New England Patriots

Hernandez's estate says the NFL knowingly hid the risks of brain trauma from him.

AP Photo

A recent exam has found that Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the New England Patriots, was suffering from a severe case of CTE prior to committing suicide in his jail cell on April 19, 2017.

CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is a degenerative disease found in individuals who have experienced repetitive brain trauma due to multiple blows to the head. Symptoms range from confusion and memory loss to impulsive behavior, depression, violence, and suicidality, and players in contact sports are especially prone to diagnosis.

On June 26, 2013, Aaron Hernandez - a star receiver for the NFL's New England Patriots - was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd. Also that year, Hernandez was accused of shooting a friend in the face and was indicted for the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

In 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in the case of Odin Lloyd and sentenced to life in prison. He was acquitted of all charges associated with the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in 2017.

Five days after his acquittal, Hernandez was found hanging in his prison cell.

On Thursday, September 21, Aaron Hernandez's attorney Jose Baez issued a statement to the press, informing them that an examination of Hernandez's brain, done by Boston University CTE Center, found that Hernandez had stage 3 CTE.

The family of Aaron Hernandez is prepared to sue the NFL upon these findings. Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, the late football players fiancee, intends to sue the New England Patriots for keeping Hernandez in the dark about his brain disease. "Aaron had stage 3 CTE usually seen in players with a median age of death of 67 years," Shayanna said in her lawsuit. She also claims the Patriots and 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."

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