Moore plans to file appeal in civil case

Steve Moore

Steve Moore

11/8/2005 7:43:09 PM

The lawyers for former Colorado Avalanche player Steve Moore plan to file an appeal in the next two weeks over a decision that threw his lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi out of a Denver court.

In making the ruling, Denver district Judge Shelley Gilman agreed with lawyers for the Vancouver Canucks forward and others that any case would be better handled in Canada, where Bertuzzi's punch from behind that broke bones in Moore's neck occurred.

"I would say shortly the U.S. counsel will be filing notice of appeal and we will be proceeding with that appeal," Tim Danson, Moore's Toronto-based lawyer, said Tuesday.

If the case is not allowed to proceed in Denver, Danson will refile the lawsuit in Toronto. He has until March of next year to file in Canada.

There had been speculation that if the lawsuit is moved to Canada it would be heard in Vancouver, where the March 8, 2004, attack occurred.


"Toronto would be the jurisdiction," Danson said. "This is where Steve lives, this is where he's suffering the damages. This is where his doctors are.

"The only argument why you'd want to hear it in Vancouver is because the incident took place there. So what? This is the first time in 26 years I've been practising law the incident is on video tape."

Both Bertuzzi and Brad May, a member of the Canucks at the time who is also named in the suit, have summer homes in Ontario, Danson said, adding any court case would likely be heard during the off-season.

Moore's lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages from the Canucks, team owner Orca Bay Hockey Limited Partnership, Bertuzzi, coach Marc Crawford, former general manager Brian Burke and May, who now plays for Colorado.

In the incident, Bertuzzi grabbed Moore from behind, punched him, then fell on him, driving the Harvard graduate's head into the ice.

 Moore suffered three fractured vertebrae in his neck, a concussion and other injuries. He is still suffering concussion-related symptoms.

Danson said Moore is skating and doing regular workouts, but still hasn't returned to the level of health he had prior to the attack.

"He's training hard," Danson said. "He's increasing the intensity of his workouts. We're measuring how he responds to the increase in intensity."

Moore's goal is to play in the NHL again, but Danson said there's no time line on when that could occur.

"That is what is driving him," Danson said. "That is everything to him. That's his life."

Moore was released by the Avalanche and is an unrestricted free agent.

Bertuzzi served a 17-month suspension from the NHL for his attack. He missed 13 regular season games and the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs, costing him over $500,000 US in salary.

The 2004-05 NHL season was wiped out by a labour dispute.

Bertuzzi was charged and pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm. He received a conditional discharge.

Bertuzzi's attack followed an incident a couple of games earlier when Moore caught Naslund with his head down and delivered a hit that left the Vancouver captain with a concussion.

No penalty was called on that play.


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