Patriots, NFL May Have To Pay Aaron Hernandez’s Family Millions Of Dollars Due To Legal Loophole
Earlier today, we learned that Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction in the Odin Lloyd case as well as a gun-related conviction in his double-murder case will be thrown out and vacated because of an archaic law in the state of Massachusetts.
Via The Boston Globe
In the eyes of the state of Massachusetts, the death of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez could make him an innocent man, thanks to an archaic legal principle called “abatement ab initio,” said Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel to the Massachusetts Bar Association.
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.”
This legal loophole might mean that the NFL and the New England Patriots owe Hernandez’s family millions of dollars of money they refused to pay the former Patriots tight end because of the murder conviction according to lawyer Michael Coyne who spoke to CSNNE’s “Toucher and Rich”.
Via Patriots Wire
And that’s the question that’s starting to be raised with respect to the bonus provisions in his contract and his NFL pension,” lawyer Michael Coyne told CSNNE’s “Toucher and Rich” Wednesday. “If these convictions are ultimately vacated — both his conviction with Odin Lloyd and his conviction on the gun charge — because of his failure to appeal, will his estate, will his child and his wife be able to recover either some of the bonus that’s still due to him under the Patriots contract or any of his pension benefits that the NFL might owe him?”
In June 2013, the Patriots withheld $3.25 million of Hernandez’s signing bonus. They also refused to pay him his $2.5 million in his guaranteed base salary. New England cited the collective bargaining agreement as their reason for withholding that guaranteed money. That’s the money Hernandez’s lawyers will likely pursue.
Coyne added: “The question is then: If he’s no longer criminally liable, has he violated the provisions of any of his contractual terms? And you know, where there’s money like this involved, the lawyers will have a field day.”
Maybe Aaron Hernandez knew what he was doing after all.
Update: Odin Lloyd’s family is aware of the loophole and are awaiting a decision by the Patriots.