One of the ugliest incidents in modern NHL history will finally see the light of day in civil court.
The March 8, 2004 on-ice assault of former Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore by then Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi that resulted in a broken neck and severe concussion for Moore and an indefinite suspension of Bertuzzi finally has a court date set. Moore is suing Bertuzzi for the injuries suffered when Bertuzzi jumped Moore from behind, driving his head into the ice.
According to CBC, Moore and Bertuzzi will head to court in the fall of 2012 for their civil trial whether Bertuzzi is still playing in the NHL or not.
The target date for the Ontario Superior Court case is Sept. 24, 2012 if Bertuzzi is still an active player, and Oct. 22 if not, according to court documents viewed by CBC.
Court-ordered mediation between the sides has failed to lead to a settlement.
The case will feature Steve Moore and his parents as the plaintiffs and Bertuzzi along with the Canucks former owners, Orca Bay, as the defendants. Back in 2005, criminal charges were filed against Bertuzzi which led to a guilty plea and a one-year suspended sentence as well as 80 hours of community service.
Moore, meanwhile, has not played a game of hockey since the incident while Bertuzzi’s career has continued on. Bertuzzi starts his 16th NHL season this year as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. While it’s been seven years since the incident, Moore as recently as this past March talked about how he’s still feeling effects from the attack.
You’d have to think with testimonials like that, as well as Bertuzzi’s guilty plea, if and when this case gets to trial that Bertuzzi and Orca Bay could be looking at a very rough go of things in court.