Aaron Hernandez suffered a traumatic brain injury playing football, and his family will file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the NFL and the New England Patriots, his attorney tells PEOPLE.
After the 27-year-old committed suicide in prison on April 19 while serving a life sentence for murder, authorities performed an autopsy and released his brain to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center. Researchers at the university have been studying traumatic brain injuries and their link to football.
Now, attorney Jose Baez tells PEOPLE the results show Hernandez suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that has been linked to head trauma. The disease has been found in dozens of former NFL players.