There is a another development in Todd Bertuzzi's legal issues related to his attack on former-Colorado Avalanche Steve Moore. Last week Big Bert dropped his third-party liability lawsuit against Marc Crawford.
Crawford, a broadcaster with TSN since being fired from his last NHL coaching job in Dallas, was Bertuzzi's coach when the then-Vancouver Canuck punched Moore to the ice and jumped on him on March 8, 2004. Moore has not played organized hockey since that night.
Steve Moore: day in court in fall of 2012
The incident occurred after Moore, in a game in Denver days earlier, lowered his shoulder into the head of the Canuck's captain and best player, Markus Naslund, also Bertuzzi's best friend on the team. It was seen as retaliation for Moore's hit on Naslund. Moore's injury, a concussion and broken vertebrae in his neck, were severe and he retired from the game despite the fact that at the time of the injury he was only 25. Moore is now 33.
Mr. Moore has sued Bertuzzi and the Canucks for $38 million, citing damages for lost wages as a hockey player. Last September Ontario Superior Court documents instructed that should there not be an out of court settlement and Bertuzzi, who currently plays for the Detroit Red Wings, remains an active player the trial will finally begin Sept. 24th of this year. If Bertuzzi retires during or after the 2011-2012 season, then the trial will not begin until October 22. While the court had mandated mediation no settlement was reached.
Marc Crawford: Insured by Vancouver Canucks
Bertuzzi and his lawyer, Geoffrey Adair, had brought Crawford into the proceedings by launching the third-party suit against him in March of 2008. "We are not prepared to comment, except to say Todd Bertuzzi has claimed that Marc Crawford has to share in the responsibility for any damages awarded to Steve Moore," Adair told the CBC at the time.
Crawford, on record as saying that he and Bertuzzi remain friends and that the lawsuit was not a personal issue, would have been liable only had there been a large find against him. As the Canuck coach, as reported in the Globe and Mail, Crawford was covered by team insurance that would have seen him pay only if damages against him were awarded exceeding $10 million. Crawford would also have been allocated $1 million for lawyer fees but now he is no longer involved in the case legally, though if it went to court he would surely be called as a witness.
There was no comment from Bertuzzi, Crawford or the lawyers for either on why the suit was dropped; however Adair did confirm that it was. Tim Danson, lawyer for Steve Moore, did not comment on the matter. Bertuzzi has apologized for the attack but Moore says he has not forgiven him.