Former NFL Player Aaron Hernandez Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Southfield, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 16, 2015 – When it came down to the jury deciding if former NFL player Aaron Hernandez, 25, was guilty of murder, the verdict was “Yes.” The victim, Odin Lloyd, had been shot five times.
Hernandez received life in prison without the chance of parole. He still faces yet another trial for the 2012 murder of two Boston men, Safiro Furtado and Daniel Abreau and a further court date yet to be set that involves allegations that he shot a friend, Alexander Bradley, in the face.
Lloyd’s mother is now moving forward with a wrongful death lawsuit. “While Hernandez did not take the stand in his criminal trial, he would be compelled to do so in a wrongful death civil lawsuit,” said Daren Monroe, Litigation Funding Corp. Michigan representative.
In a civil lawsuit, the defendant cannot use their constitutional right against self-incrimination (the Fifth Amendment). And thus, in suing Hernandez for compensation for the death of Lloyd, he must testify in court. The burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is lower than the burden in a criminal case.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed in 2013, approximately six months after Hernandez was arrested. However, given that criminal proceedings were pending, a Bristol Superior Court judge disallowed the civil case until the other case was concluded. Of further interest in the new civil trial will be the whereabouts of the significant sums of money Hernandez earned during his short football career.
“By a conservative tally, Hernandez received upwards of $40 million in the form of endorsements and due to a contract extension from the New England Patriots. He was cut loose from the Patriots and his endorsements dried up once he was arrested,” said Monroe. “It was also well known that he paid for his three defense lawyers and other trial experts — a not insignificant sum.”
Although nothing can bring back Lloyd, or even begin to compensate the family for their loss, the assets on hand or hidden by Hernandez will be hotly contested. “In the meantime, Lloyd’s mother has had to contend will all of the bills since her son was found dead, and funeral and burial costs, in addition to legal bills, are not inexpensive. Mrs. Ward may be interested in finding out information about litigation funding to help her handle finances while waiting for her case to be resolved,” Monroe said.
A lawsuit loan is also referred to as pre-settlement funding, and it is given to a qualified plaintiff on submission of their case to the litigation funding company. The applicant must be working with an attorney and the case must stand a good chance of winning in court.
Once the funds have been approved for dispersal, they are sent via the fastest route possible, directly to the plaintiff’s bank account. “Usually, the money arrives within 48 hours or less,” Monroe said.