A federal judge says the 6-year-old daughter of the late New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez missed a 2014 deadline to opt out of the $1 billion concussion settlement and can't separately sue the league over his diagnosis of a degenerative brain disease.
Yet Hernandez's death in 2017 came too late for his family to seek compensation for suicides related to chronic traumatic encephalopathy under the class action settlement.
Hernandez, a Bristol native, spent three years with the New England Patriots before his 2013 arrest on the first of three homicide charges. He never returned to the NFL.
In a ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia concludes Hernandez was retired and therefore a member of the class. Family lawyer Brad Sohn said Hernandez had not retired and his family should be able to pursue an individual lawsuit.
Hernandez killed himself in prison. After his death, doctors found the 27-year-old Hernandez had advanced CTE.