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Families of alleged victims of ex-football star hope to recover wrongful death damages

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Should I file bankruptcy?”


Jurors answered one big question last week at the close of Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial. Yes, they said, he was guilty of first-degree murder.

Aaron Hernandez Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyOne question they could not answer is whether the family of Hernandez’s victim will in the case ever recover any of the millions the former football star made while playing professional football.

Prosecutors alleged—and jurors agreed—that Hernandez, who played wide receiver in the National Football League for the New England Patriots and caught a touchdown pass in the 2012 Super Bowl—shot and killed professional football player Odin Lloyd in an industrial park outside Boston, Massachusetts on June 17, 2013.

Attorney Douglas Sheff, who represents Lloyd’s mother Ursula Ward, said after Hernandez was convicted that Ward plans to bring a wrongful death suit against Hernandez. Sheff said Ward plans to call on Hernandez to testify in the wrongful death case, and that “he will no longer be able to hide behind any sort of Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination,” according to WBUR.

Ward is not the only person poised to bring a wrongful death action against Hernandez. Prosecutors allege that the football star killed immigrants Daniel de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28, in a drive-by shooting in Boston on July 16, 2012. The New York Post has reported that Hernandez killed the men after one of them accidentally spilled beer on him while dancing at a nightclub. Hernandez is expected to be tried for those killings later this year or next year.

Hernandez remains a person of interest in the 2007 shooting of two men after an incident at a Gainesville, Florida nightclub. At the time, Hernandez was a 17-year-old freshman at the University of Florida, where he later led the Gators to a BCS National Championship in collegiate football. One of the victims in that shooting was left permanently disabled.

Boston College law professor Robert Bloom told WBUR that with so many potential victims, there may be numerous hands lining up to seek whatever may be left of the $40 million contract Hernandez had with the Patriots.

Bloom said he worries that Hernandez has already given his money to family members. “If it’s in some sort of irrevocable trust,” he said, “in essence he’s given away the money and it’s not his anymore.”

If Hernandez held on to his money and he faces a slew of wrongful death claimants, he would likely declare bankruptcy, Bloom said. Secured creditors—such as lenders who may have mortgages on Hernandez’s multimillion-dollar home—would be paid first, leaving the families of the alleged victims to fight over whatever is left.

If you find yourself needing the services of an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.



About the Author

Bryan 1Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.

Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.

In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.












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