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Plaintiffs hope to lock Aaron Hernandez's assets for civil trial

As many in Los Angeles may already know, a defendant facing criminal charges related to a murder also isn’t immune from civil action being taken against him or her in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. Yet the challenge facing the victim’s representatives who are seeking compensation is having the case heard before all of the accused’s assets are eaten up by his or her criminal defense. Unfortunately, civil cases are often put on hold until criminal trial proceedings come to a conclusion. Some may think that it’s only the ruling in a wrongful death lawsuit that the victim’s family cares about. While that may be true in some cases, in many others, the family of the deceased often relies on funds awarded in a settlement to survive financially.

The family of the victim on the upcoming murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is facing such a dilemma in their wrongful death lawsuit against him. While Hernandez earned ample funds during his playing career, the concern is that money going into his legal defense will drain a significant portion of them. Thus, attorneys for the family have filed for restraining orders to be issued to keep Hernandez from placing his $1.25 million home up for sale and from the New England Patriots organization from paying him the more than $3 million still owed on his contract. The hope is that those funds will be available as compensation after Hernandez’s criminal trial concludes.

Wrongful death lawsuits are rarely easy, and often take extraordinary legal maneuverings such as these to ensure that the defendant has anything left to give the victim’s representatives when the case is finally heard. Recognizing such opportunities to freeze assets for an upcoming lawsuit isn’t something to be expected from a layman. Therefore, those hoping to win compensation as part of a wrongful death lawsuit may wish to work with an attorney to assist in doing so. 

Source: The Herald News “Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Aaron Hernandez” Brian Fraga, Dec. 17, 2013

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