Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Steve Moore Files Civil Suit

Ron Maclean just reported that Steve Moore has filed a civil lawsuit in Ontario Courts against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks. I can't find anything on the internet yet, but will put up some links when I come across them. Maclean said that he didn't even think Bertuzzi was aware of the lawsuit yet. I actually think Sports Matters is the first online site to report the suit. Ah, the benefits of avoiding work to watch a game.

My initial thoughts are a) good, and that b) it was an interesting choice by Moore's lawyers to file the suit during the Olympic Hockey Tournament. As if Wayne Gretzky and Team Canada weren't facing enough distractions already. I guess Steve wasn't too happy with the Great One naming Bertuzzi to the Canadian Hockey team.


CBC has the CP story on their page.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by lawyer Tim Danson, and seeks millions of dollars in lost wages and damages for Moore and his parents.

It also named Orca Bay Ltd. partnership, Orca Bay Hockey Inc., and the Canucks.

Moore is demanding $15 million in lost wages, $1 million for aggravated damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

**Update** TSN now has the story.

TSN's take on Bertuzzi's suspension is revealing in itself, isn't it? It states:
After missing 13 regular season games and the entire Stanley Cup playoffs in 2004, the NHL reinstated Bertuzzi last August.

13 games and the ENTIRE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS sure makes it seem like a long time. The reality is that Vancouver played in 7 games in the 2003-2004 playoffs, meaning Bertuzzi missed a total of 20 games. That makes it one less than the suspension recieved by Dale Hunter for hitting Pierre Turgeon on 1993, which was a far less egregious play, in my mind.

Shockingly, the NHL doesn't have the story up. I wonder why?


At 1:15 PM, Blogger sacamano said...

I wonder why it was filed in Ontario. Won't it just get thrown out there like it did in the US for being filed in the wrong jurisdiction?

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I imagine it has to do with where Moore is from, but I will let Kevin, or resident legal expert, answer that more fully.

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous David said...

it was an interesting choice by Moore's lawyers to file the suit during the Olympic Hockey Tournament

Not really. They filed the first one in Denver the day after the offically NHL cancelled the 2004-05 season. They're looking for attention. Again. I have sympathy about what happened to Moore on-ice, but I've not been a fan of most of the post-incident moves by his legal team.

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous David said...

Swap "officially" and "NHL" if you'd like to read my sentence above without scratching your head :|

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Oh, I agree that they knew what they were doing, and were doing it on purpose. Personally, I think it was a smart move. Now Bertuzzi, Gretzky, Nicholson, Sakic and Blake will all have to answer questions about it.

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous David said...

Yeah, I didn't mean to say it wasn't interesting, just meant to point out that I thought "oh, again".

The only positive I take from the timing is that I hope it settles down before the Olympic break is over and that his brother Dominic doesn't have to deal with it too much in NY.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

This whole affair just reminds me that the NHL is still an old-boys club. I actually winced today when I saw Sakic and Bertuzzi celebrating together after a goal. I mean, I understand the concept of a guy serving his time and people moving past it, but the problem is that he didn't serve the proper amount of time in the first place. The whole thing was swept under the rug, probably because looking at the entire incident would paint the league as being ass-backwards from ownership down to the stick-boys.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Does anyone else think that the Steve Moore incident would make for a fantastic 'Rocky' movie? Sure the storyline of a boxer being paralyzed by a sucker punch in the ring was used in 'Million Dollar Baby', but a Rocky take on it would provide the opportunity to use that story, *and* have an ending that doesn't leave the audience wanting to go home and hang themselves afterwards.

Seriously, who wouldn't pay to see Rocky train and then come back to fight and avenge his fallen protege? You could even get Todd Bertuzzi to play the bad guy. If someone runs with this concept, I'm not just predicting a $100 million gate, I'm guaranteeing it.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Alex said...

I agree with regards to the length of the suspension. He should have had to sit out at least one full NHL season that wasn't wiped out due to a lockout.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Kevin Kimmis said...

Sacamano/Andy, forum/jurisdiction is not quite as rigid in the U.S. as it is in Canada. It's been a long time since I took a hard look at the issue -- I remember it arising when I was doing insurance work, and once when I was an articling student -- but the former was over five years ago, and the latter was almost five years before the former.

Here's what I can say: The location of the incident (Vancouver) is only ONE component playing into where the trial can be held, albeit an important one. The location of the plaintiff and defendants can also be factors. (I assume Orca Bay is a B.C. corporation, but is Bertuzzi a resident of Ontario?) Sometimes courts also talk about the juridical advantages of one jurisdiction or another, or where the majority of the witnesses are located, but usually that doesn't play into the decision. Besides, B.C. used to be notorious for large injury judgments, which means the advantage would likely be there.

I went around the office looking for a second opinion from one of our solid grey-hairs. I started with the rejection of the U.S. claim; when I got to the part about Moore's second claim, he interjected with, "... which was started in Vancouver...." When I told him it was started in Ontario, he looked at me, puzzled, and said: "Well, if Moore is resident there, the Ontario courts might take jurisdiction...." But he didn't seem convinced they would.

So the answer is: Maybe, but not likely. My guess is that, just like the Colorado action, the first fight will be where the action should be tried, and if I had to guess, it will end up in B.C.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Kevin Kimmis said...

Here for me is the bigger issue: What is Bertuzzi doing on this team anyway? Talent-wise, I understand why, but based on the Moore incident, Todd doesn't strike me as an Olympian. (Of course, if he reads this, I'm sure he'll strike me....)

At 5:33 PM, Anonymous David said...

While it may be easy for everyone to dismiss, the IIHF upheld Bertuzzi's suspension. He did not play in the World Cup and he was not allowed to play for any of the big European leagues during the lockout. Yes, it was just 20 NHL games, but it was a 17-month suspension and a lot of other NHLers made millions during that time playing overseas.

This was an enormous story and was covered by every major news outlet, I don't see how it was swept under the rug at all. And today - a second lawsuit almost two years after the incident occured still garnered headline attention on during the Olympics. Like Kevin says above, this lawsuit may be tossed out also, which means during the next opportune time we'll hear of a third lawsuit in BC.

I want to also make note that I was no fan of Todd Bertuzzi the hockey player pre-incident.

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Like I stated on the Battle of Alberta page, I am happy that it is going to court for this very reason. I would like to hear all the facts weighed and evaluated properly, including a) how much was pre-meditated, b) how much involvement Crawford and management had in Bertuzzi's retaliation, and c) how much it "cost" Bertuzzi in comparison to how much it "cost" Moore. I am suspicious of how honestly the league dealt with the matter, and with how much information the sports media decided to pass along. I sincerely hope it isn't thrown out.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

Just three thoughts: 1.) It would be a waste of time filing a suit in Vancouver where Bert is viewed as a hero (also Moore's lawyer is based in Toronto, which would give him the lay of the land); 2.) I think the timing has to do with the Olympics, but I think (Kimmis, please yay, or nay) that there is a 2 year limit on how long one can wait to place a civil suit or something, which means Moore would have to have filed on the day he did or lose the ability to do so. 3.) This will not likely see a courtroom as Bertuzzi's guilt is obvious, (although others involved maybe not so obvious), so I think an out of court settlement is more likely.


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