Bertuzzi offered Moore $350K to settle lawsuit: report
Lawyers for Todd Bertuzzi made a six-figure offer to injured player Steve Moore to reach an out-of-court settlement of a civil lawsuit after initially inquiring about the possibility of a $1-million Cdn settlement, according to a report.
Moore, who was seriously injured in March 2004 by a hit from Bertuzzi and has not played professionally since, filed a $15-million Cdn civil suit two years later.
The lawsuit named Bertuzzi and his team at the time, the Vancouver Canucks, as well as the team's parent company at the time, Orca Bay.
The Toronto Star reported Tuesday it had obtained a March 29 letter from Tim Danson, Moore's lawyer, to Bertuzzi's legal representative, Geoffrey Adair.
The letter expressed dismay over an alleged $350,000 offer to settle the suit.
"On July 31, 2006, you sat in my office and queried whether Mr. Bertuzzi could settle this case for $1 million," Danson reportedly wrote.
"To then receive a joint offer from Mr. Bertuzzi and Orca Bay in New York for $350,000 was quite a shock and certainly sent out all the wrong messages," Danson wrote later.
Danson was referring to a Decembermeeting that also involved NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his top lieutenant, Bill Daly, a meeting he called "a complete waste of time."
Moore was playing for the Colorado Avalanche on March 8, 2004, when bad blood from a previous contest spilled over.
Moore was punched from behind by Bertuzzi andfell to the ice.
He was taken off the ice on a stretcher and suffered three fractured vertebrae in his neck and a concussion.
Moore granted CBC News his first television interview since the incident earlier this year, when he expressed disappointment that Bertuzzi was chosen to represent Canada at the 2006 Olympics after serving a 21-game suspension.
Moore, 28, said doctors had told him they were doubtful he could make a comeback.
"I do a little bit of everything, and I am very thankful that I can do that because for a long time I couldn't," said Moore.
"It's just that when I really start to push it to where you get into serious conditioning, that's where I start to have problems."
Bertuzzi was suspended for what amounted to 20 games after Vancouver was eliminated from the first round of the 2004 playoffs.
The NHL reinstated Bertuzzi in late 2005, with Bettman citing the player's inability to play hockey outside of North America during the lockout as contributing to his punishment.
He faced criminal charges in British Columbia resulting from the hit, but the Crown agreed to a deal —a sentence ofone year's probation plus 80 hours of community service.
Bertuzzi now plays for the Anaheim Ducks.
Since the beginning of the 2006 season, he has been limited to 38 regular-season and playoff games due to various injuries.
With files from the Canadian Press