New England Patriots: Massachusetts law could force Pats to pay Aaron Hernandez millions
By Brian Hines
Following Aaron Hernandez’s surprising suicide Wednesday morning, the New England Patriots could be forced to pay a chunk of change to the Hernandez family.
In June 2013 when Hernandez was owed a $3.25 million signing bonus, the New England Patriots withheld the payment. They also refused to pay his $2.5 million guaranteed base salary he was owed. The team cited the new CBA as a reason for withholding the guaranteed money.
So now under an obscure Massachusetts law called “Abatement ab initio,” Hernandez technically died an innocent man.
"Though Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of murdering Odin L. Lloyd of Boston, Hernandez’s appeal was not complete. Abatement ab initio means “from the beginning,” Healy said, and it means that upon a person’s death, if they have not exhausted their legal appeals, their case reverts to its status at the beginning — it’s as if the trial and conviction never happened.“Unfortunately, in the Odin Lloyd matter, for the family, there won’t be any real closure,” said Healy. “Aaron Hernandez will go to his death an innocent man.”"
With the charges of Odin Lloyd’s murder likely being vacated, Hernandez’s lawyers could now try to pursue the money the Patriots owe him from 2013.
In an interview with CSNNE’s Toucher and Rich, lawyer Michale Coyne pointed out that Hernandez never violated any contractual terms.
"“The question is then: If he’s no longer criminally liable, has he violated the provisions of any of his contractual terms?” said Coyne via Patriots Wire. “And you know, where there’s money like this involved, the lawyers will have a field day.”"
The money could potentially be given to Hernandez’s former fiancee Shayanna Jenkins and their 4-year old daughter, Avielle.
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Odin Lloyd’s family could eventually sue the Hernandez estate in a wrongful death suit. The attorney for Ursula Ward, Odin’s mother, shared that their civil case against Aaron Hernandez is “full-speed ahead.”