Although the Hernandez murder and wrongful death cases are not in California, they do raise the interesting overlap. So here we discuss a civilian death claim and a criminal murder claim. In a court hearing several weeks ago, the attorney for the families of two people allegedly gunned down made a special tribunal request. He asked Hernandez to lose his bonus pay. According to the lawyer, parents want the judge to bar the Patriots from paying Hernandez a 3.2 million dollar bonus.
Prosecutors say Hernandez allegedly fatally shot Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in 2012. They claim that Hernandez killed one of the men after he accidentally spilled a drink on him at a nightclub. Hernandez is accused of fatally shooting the men weeks. Also, this was just weeks before signing a 5-year contract with the Patriots for 40 million dollars.
Patriots attorney William Kennedy said the Patriots had challenged the rights for Hernandez. They say he should not receive the 3.2 million dollar bonus at all. Kennedy said he wants a court order if the team gets sentenced to pay Hernandez in an arbitration hearing. Hernandez got released from the Patriots in 2013. So this was after his arrest in connection with the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
California Law is Similar In Death Claims
In California, this is the same type of procedure that a wrongful death attorney would use. So he would make sure there is money set aside for the survivor’s estate. However, it is hard to get such an order to issue. Also, this is since the defendant has to get convicted or found legally liable for the deaths. Last, appears in this case, however, that a stipulation by the suing parties gets entered into. But the content of which is unknown.
Hurdles and Bickering
In a case like that, at least one obstacle, survivors bickering over who gets what is not a basis to not enter the order. The next argument that is helpful to the suing parties is the contract prevents bonuses for certain violations of integrity or crimes. But again, it is hard when the case is still pending not to pay. But the arbitration agreement may allow the money to be set aside pending a court outcome.
Consequently, assuming Hernandez gets convicted of murder, families would use the findings. Also, this can be res judicata or collateral estoppel. Furthermore, this could obviate a lengthy civil trial, unlike the OJ Simpson case. But in that case, an almost all black jury found him not guilty of murder. A more balanced jury found him later liable for wrongful death.
So the biggest problem with orders like this is the 14th Amendment recognizes the right of an accused of notice and opportunity to defend. Depriving Hernandez of money to pay a lawyer is clearly problematic. Hence, a court would need to narrowly tailor any such order that would deny him of his defense. Also, this could form the basis of a reversal on appeal.