Steve Moore’s civil trial against Todd Bertuzzi began in 2006 but, on Wednesday, Moore attended it for the first time.
“This is our first appearance in front of the trial judge,” Moore’s legal representative Tim Danson said, per CBC. “This case is about Steve’s life and him being here shows just how important this case is to him.”
Moore reportedly spoke “casually” about the case but did not answer any direct questions pertaining to it. What’s more, CBC reports the former Colorado Avalanche forward is now seeking $68 million in damages — up from $38 million — stemming from a 2004 on-ice attack in which Bertuzzi jumped Moore from behind and slammed him to the ice.
Moore suffered a concussion and three fractured vertebrae, and hasn’t played hockey since.
“Steve Moore is unable to obtain employment commensurate to anywhere near his high intellect and Harvard degree,” Danson told the court, referring to reports by career experts he has filed.
But the lawyer for Orca Bay, the former owner of the Vancouver Canucks, argued otherwise.
Alan D’Silva referred to applications Moore made to the Harvard and Stanford MBA programs in 2010 in which Moore writes about receiving $104,000 for work.
Moore wrote the Graduate Management Admissions Test as part of his applications and scored in the 88th percentile.
Danson countered that this was a family business deal and Moore’s role was minimal.
“It’s not income from employment in the normal way,” said Danson.
The Bertuzzi civil trial is expected to start in September and could feature a number of high-ranking NHL officials. Commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly are prepared to testify, and former Canucks owner John McCaw has reportedly been ordered to take the stand.
As evident by 2006 start date, this trial has been a long time in the making — last July, an original Sept. 24, 2012 date was pushed to January 2013, only for that date to be pushed again when Danson learned of a “secret deal” between Bertuzzi and McCaw’s Orca Bay, the former Canucks ownership group.
Here’s more, from CBC:
Bertuzzi and Orca Bay lost an appeal to keep secret the details of an agreement that shares costs between them should they lose the lawsuit brought against them by Moore.
Moore’s lawyer, Tim Danson, learned of the agreement earlier in 2012 and won a decision to have it released to him, but not for public disclosure.
It’s worth noting that, in February of 2012, Bertuzzi signed a two-year, $4.15 million contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings, a deal that bumped his career earnings to nearly $38 million.
Bertuzzi’s deal expired yesterday (July 1), just a few weeks after the Red Wings said they wouldn’t be resigning him. He’s now an unrestricted free agent.