A lawyer for the families of two men allegedly shot by former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez told a judge that the team does not owe the former player "another penny."
In question is a $3.5 million signing bonus that was a part of Hernandez's contract that since has been voided by the team. Attorney Andrew Phelan said the team terminated the contract shortly after he was charged in the 2013 death of Odin Lloyd and that he does not believe the Patriots must pay him that total.
"The Patriots believe under the terms of that contract that they owe not another penny to Mr. Hernandez," Phelan said.
This occured during a hearing at Suffolk Superior Court on wrongful death lawsuits filed by the families of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, two men whom prosecutors say also were also killed by Hernandez, just weeks before he signed a 5-year, $40 million contract. Prosecutors allege that Hernandez shot the men in their car after one had accidentally spilled his drink on Hernandez at a Boston-area nightclub.
A lawyer for the families, William Kennedy, has asked for an order that bars the Patriots from paying Hernandez the $3.25 million — even if the team is ordered by an arbitrator to do so. Hernandez has filed a grievance seeking that money, plus an additional $82,000 he says the team owes him. Hernandez's lawyers say thay they need to get paid and that their client is owed the money.
Kennedy also wants the Patriots organization added to the case as a defendant, in order to get information related to Hernandez's contract as a way of helping get the families money in case a jury ever orders them damages. Each family is seeking for $6 million in damages.
Judge Bonnie MacLeod said she would consider it but also told Kennedy that there were other ways of gaining that information.
John Fitzpatrick, Hernandez's attorney in the case, said that keeping Hernandez from the money ‘would impair his state and federal constitutional rights to counsel and to due process."
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