DURING THIS HEALTH CRISIS, OUR OFFICE IS FULLY STAFFED AND FULLY OPERATIONAL AND YOU CAN REACH US BY PHONE OR EMAIL 24 HOURS A DAY.

Close Menu X

How Can We Help?

TBI may have influenced Hernandez's murderous behavior

A new Netflix documentary details the trial of ex-Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and highlights the severity of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in contact sports. The NFL, including teams like the Patriots, have long misrepresented the dangers of repeated head trauma. Nevertheless, studies have shown that degenerative brain diseases related to TBI can lead to erratic behavior, mood swings and violence. Though there may be many factors contributing to Hernandez's violence, it seems clear that TBI was a factor in his crimes.

TBI dangers ignored by sports organizations

An autopsy revealed that Hernandez had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which was in its later stages. The problem with chronic brain diseases like CTE is that they can only be confirmed through an autopsy, long after a patient has done damage to themselves and others. Hernandez was diagnosed with stage 3 CTE after his suicide while in prison. Here are the four stages of CTE:

· Stage 1: Early-stage CTE, marked by attention issues and headaches.

· Stage 2: This stage includes mood swings, depression and other mood disorders, as well as impulsive behavior and memory loss.

· Stage 3: Patients show reduced executive function related to attention and behavior control. This stage also includes increased aggression and more severe forms of the symptoms associated with Stages 1 and 2.

· Stage 4: This final stage is associated with even more severe symptoms of aggression and paranoid tendencies, as well as symptoms similar to dementia.

A cautionary tale

In 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of the 2013 murder of his friend Odin Lloyd. What was a promising career, along with a $40 million contract with the Patriots, dissolved because of Hernandez's frequent violence and dangerously erratic behavior.

Though Odin Lloyd's murder is one of the most extreme examples of the consequences of TBI, the film explores how sports organizations are willing to ignore the damage they create to players and those affected by those players.

Holding employers accountable

As ongoing research helps to explain the causes of CTE, more and more athletes are coming forward about their debilitating injuries. In 2018, the NFL settled a lawsuit in which they paid former players suffering from TBI with over $1 billion in damages. Though it is unlikely to happen overnight, cautionary tales like Hernandez's may create greater awareness of TBI. If you or a loved one suffers from TBI related to their job, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Our Awards and Accolades

    • The Best Lawyers in America
    • The National Trail Lawyers | Top 100 | Trail Lawyers
    • Newsweek Leaders In Showcase Personal Injury | 2011
    • Lawyers of Distinction | 2018
    • 2014 | Litigator Awards | Ranked Top 1% of Lawyers
    • Nation's Premier | NAOPIA | Top Ten Attorney | Personal Injury
    • American Law Society | Official Home of America's Top Lawyers
    • Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | U.S.News & News Report | Rankings
    • New York Law Journal | 2015 Verdicts & Settlements | Hall of Fame | Motor Vehicle | Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP | Top 20 Verdict
    • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    • Verdict Search's | Top NY Verdicts
    • Certified
    • National Association of Distinguished Counsel | Nation's Top One Percent | NADC
    • 2016 | Litigation Elite - Top 100 Trail Lawyers
    • Martindale-Hubbell | Distinguished | Peer Rated for High Professional Achievement | 2017
    • Who's who Legal | WWL
    • The National Advocates | Top 100 Lawyers
    • America's Top 100 Attorneys | Top 100
    • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trail Lawyers
    • Best Lawyers | 2021
    • Super Lawyers
    • Best Law Firms of America | LifeTime Member
    • Avvo | 10.0 | Superb | Top Attorney Personal Injury
Email Our Attorneys

Have Questions? Get A Free Case Review

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy