The civil case between former Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore and Todd Bertuzzi has officially been settled.
After weeks of rumors saying the two sides agreed to an out-of-court settlement, Moore released a statement on Thursday afternoon declaring the case closed.
“The legal case for the loss of my NHL career is over. I have accepted a settlement agreement which has now been finalized and signed by all the parties.”
Moore said the settlement comes with “mixed emotions” because while his dream of continuing to play in the NHL is gone, he’s pleased the burden of an “unresolved legal case” won’t be weighing on his or his family’s mind.
Details of the settlement will likely never be known due to confidentiality agreements – something that was a sticking point in earlier reports of the case being settled.
It was March 8, 2004 when Bertuzzi, as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, attacked Moore from behind giving him three broken vertebrae and a concussion that ended his career. Bertuzzi was suspended for the incident but returned to play after the 2004-05 lockout. Moore never played again.
We still haven’t heard from Steve Moore’s camp on an agreement reached in the Moore-Todd Bertuzzi lawsuit, but further signs the two sides are close were reported by TSN’s Rick Westhead Thursday.
According to Westhead, the two sides are currently negotiating the terms of a confidentiality agreement. In his report, Westhead says even if there were issues with coming to terms on a confidentiality agreement, an arbitrator would step in.
The trial was scheduled to be heard in Ontario Superior Court beginning Sept. 8.
Related: Report: Moore, Bertuzzi still negotiating confidentiality pact
Former Vancouver Canucks owner John McCaw Jr. is being ordered to testify in the Steve Moore civil case against the Canucks and Todd Bertuzzi in September.
Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun reports a U.S. District Court in Seattle has ordered McCaw to take the stand at the September 8 trial, over 10 years after the incident that ended Moore’s career. The former Canucks owner (he sold his stake in 2006) has reportedly ignored requests to appear at the trial and the court in Seattle as well as one in Ontario have called for him to speak.
It’s unknown if McCaw will comply with the order, but Simmons says he would be allowed to testify via video. Moore’s attorneys feel McCaw was “well aware” of the threats of retaliation made by Canucks players ahead of the February 16, 2004 incident.
Bertuzzi is set to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Moore’s career was ended after he suffered a concussion and three broken vertebrae when he was attacked by Bertuzzi.
The ongoing Steve Moore-Todd Bertuzzi saga will stretch into next year.
That’s the word according to Jeff Z. Klein the New York Times, who reports the civil suit brought by Moore against Bertuzzi, the Vancouver Canucks and Marc Crawford has been pushed from its original Sept. 24 date to late January 2013.
Moore’s lawyers confirmed the delay on Saturday, noting that the defense requested the adjournment.
“Selection of the six-member jury will begin Jan. 28. Lawyers expect an 8- to-12-week trial,” Klein writes. “No further delays in the trial date are anticipated, because under Canadian judicial practice no jury trials are held over the summer.”
The projected timeframe means the trial could coincide with the nine-year anniversary of Bertuzzi’s attack on Moore — the incident occurred on Mar. 8, 2004 — one that left Moore with three fractured neck vertebrae and a concussion, injuries that ended his playing career.
The former Colorado Avalanche is seeking $38 million in damages.
In February, 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. Crawford, meanwhile, has signed on to coach the Zurich Lions of the Swiss Hockey League for the 2012-13 season.
Earlier this month, Todd Bertuzzi dropped a lawsuit against his former coach, Marc Crawford — a lawsuit that alleged Crawford had encouraged Bertuzzi to seek retribution against Colorado forward Steve Moore nearly eight years ago.
Now Moore’s legal team wants to know why the lawsuit was dropped.
We all remember what happened on Mar. 8, 2004, during a game between Vancouver and the Colorado Avalanche. Moore hasn’t played since and is suing Bertuzzi and the company that owns the Canucks for $38 million in a case that’s expected to start in September or October.
Today, Moore’s lawyer, Tim Danson, argued in a Toronto court that the dropping of the lawsuit may indicate a conspiracy against his client.
“This agreement . . . is the (hockey) code in action,” Danson told Superior Court Master Ronald Dash, as reported by Postmedia. “It’s making sure that those on that side are making a united front against Mr. Moore.”
I’m no law-talking guy, but I don’t blame Danson for being suspicious. I’d want to know why the lawsuit was dropped, too. Was it because Bertuzzi’s legal team concluded the suit had no merit? Or was it to curry favor with Crawford before he testified on what happened that day?