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NHL rejected Steve Moore's disability claim, according to court documents

The National Hockey League refused to give Steve Moore $220,000 in a disability payment unless he dropped his lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks, new court documents allege.

League wanted former Avalanche forward to drop lawsuit

The National Hockey League refused to give Steve Moore $220,000 in a disability payment unless he dropped his civil suit against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks, new court documents allege.

As well, a new motion was filed to compel former Canucks owner John McCaw Jr. to testify at the trial scheduled to start in September in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto.

Moore is seeking $38 million dollars in damages resulting from the March 8, 2004 on-ice incident. Bertuzzi, the Canucks and Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, owner of the NHL team, are named.

Bertuzzi, then playing for the Vancouver Canucks, drove Moore, then playing for the Colorado Avalanche, to the ice with a punch during an NHL game. Moore suffered three fractured vertebrae and hasn't played since. 

Both Hartford Life Insurance and Lloyds of London determined in 2007 after a review of Moore's medical records that he sustained career ending injuries and was entitled to a Permanent Total Disability benefit $220,000 US under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Hartford and Lloyds insured the Permanent Disability Credit under the CBA.

In order to receive the payment, Moore would have had to agree to a standard clause written into the disability agreement to waive any litigation against the NHL and it's member hockey clubs.

Moore asked NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly in 2008 if that clause could be removed, according to the new court documents, arguing it was "not drafted to cover circumstances such as those herein."

According to the court documents, Bettman and Daly refused to waive that clause, stating the only way Moore would get his $220,000 was to give up his lawsuit. 

Steve Moore was playing in his 69th NHL game. Had he played just one more, he would be entitled to $370,000 for Total Permanent Disability.

The NHL had not yet responded to an email request for comment at the time of filing.

McCaw was the owner of the Vancouver Canucks in 2004.

He eventually sold the club to Francesco Aquilini.

The new court documents reveal that both parties agreed to split any judgement or settlement awarded to Moore.

Furthermore, Aquilini is not allowed to settle with Moore without McCaw's approval.

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