Over a decade after his NHL career was ended, Steve Moore has finally gotten some closure. The 35-year-old Moore has reached an out-of-court settlement in his lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi’s lawyer Geoff Adair confirmed the development on Tuesday, stating that the terms of the settlement are confidential.
“Obviously, we consider it fair and equitable, or we wouldn’t have agreed to it,” said Adair.
The lawsuit was set to begin on Sept. 8, where Moore’s representatives were seeking $38 million in damages, and were looking to increase that number to $68 million. The civil suit was originally filed in 2006, but has faced a myriad of delays.
The incident at the center of all this litigation occurred on March 8, 2004. During a game between Moore’s Colorado Avalanche and Bertuzzi’s Vancouver Canucks, Bertuzzi attempted to engage Moore in fisticuffs. As Moore skated away, Bertuzzi jumped on his back and drove his head into the ice. Moore suffered a concussion and three fractured vertebrae. He never played in the NHL again.
"I lost my entire career in my rookie year," said Moore during a March interview. "I think any player put in that situation would do the same thing. I can't recover anything else. I can't recover my career, the experience of living out my dream from the time I was 2 1 / 2 years old of playing in the NHL."
Moore still suffers from headaches and low energy as a result of the incident. Bertuzzi was suspended, missing the remainder of the 2003-2004 season, and had his suspension lifted following the 2004-2005 lockout. Years later, he pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to one year of probation and 80 hours of community service.
Unlike Moore, Bertuzzi was able to continue his playing career. Now 39, he is an unrestricted free agent after spending the last five seasons with the Detroit Red Wings.