Lawyer: Mother of Aaron Hernandez's murder victim asks Patriots for $6 million
Attorney Doug Sheff called it “a friendly challenge” to the Patriots
The mother of Odin Lloyd, who was murdered by former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez, is asking the New England Patriots for $6 million, according to the Associated Press.
Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, is represented by Doug Sheff in a wrongful death suit. And on Friday, two days after Hernandez committed suicide, Ward told reporters about her desire to be compensated by the Patriots.
Attorney Doug Sheff tells reporters he's issued "a friendly challenge" to the Patriots. Hernandez was a star tight end for the team before he was cut in 2013, the same year he killed Odin Lloyd.
Sheff says he's asked the Patriots for $6 million. The team didn't immediately comment on his request.
Sheff is representing Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, in a wrongful-death lawsuit. He said Friday he wants to be certain that any of Hernandez's assets go to help support Ward.
As USA Today reported and AP alluded to above, Ward is technically asking the Patriots to make the payment to Hernandez's estate, which will then be given to Lloyd's family due to the wrongful death suit. From USA Today's story:
Ursula Ward's lawyer, Doug Sheff, said at a press conference Friday that Hernandez was ruled legally responsible for Lloyd's death in a wrongful death suit brought on by the family. Sheff said he has issued "a friendly challenge" to the Patriots and the NFL Players Association to voluntarily give Ward whatever money Hernandez might still be owed.
Sheff said he thinks the team might have owed Hernandez up to $6 million. The suit seeks to recover that plus proceeds from the eventual sale of Hernandez's $1.3 million home, a Hummer and any other assets.
Ward said they are moving forward with the lawsuit because it can help the family financially and that she wants to set up a scholarship in Lloyd's name.
In April of 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder of Lloyd in 2013 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Hernandez served that sentence until Wednesday, when he committed suicide by hanging himself. But as our Jared Dubin explained, Hernandez technically died as an innocent man in the court's eyes.
The Patriots, who gave Hernandez a contract extension in 2012 that included more than $16 million in guaranteed money, released Hernandez almost immediately after he was arrested and didn't pay him $5.91 million of that guaranteed total.
On Thursday, the Boston Globe's Ben Volin tried to answer if the Patriots still owe that $5.91 million, which is essentially what Ward is asking for, because of the legal technicality that deemed Hernandez an innocent man. Volin concluded that "Hernandez almost certainly was in breach of his contract," which means the Patriots likely won't be forced to pay anything if they don't want to.
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