An agreement between Todd Bertu zzi, the Vancouver Canucks and Marc Crawford must be made known to the lawyers for former NHL player Steve Moore, according to an Ontario Superior Court Justice. Justice Paul Perell dismissed an appeal by lawyers for Bertuzzi and the Canucks, upholding a decision by Master Ronald Dash of the Superior Court that Moore’s lawyers have a right to know the details of the agreement between the defendants in a legal action filed by Moore. The lawsuit, which is set for trial in late September or early October, seeks more than $38-million in damages from Bertuzzi and the Canucks for an attack on Moore in March, 2004 that ended his NHL career. Bertuzzi played for the Canucks at the time while Crawford was the head coach and Moore was with the Colorado Avalanche.
The agreement saw Bertuzzi drop his third-party claim against Crawford and then the Canucks, Crawford and Bertuzzi dismissed all cross-claims between them. Dash revealed in court the agreement calls for Bertuzzi, Crawford and the Canucks share the responsibility for any damages awarded to Moore. However, Dash did not say how the three parties will split the payments and he told Moore’s lawyers not to make the agreement public once they receive it.
The Canucks’ and Bertuzzi’s lawyers appealed Dash’s decision, arguing such agreements between defendants must remain confidential or it would discourage people from settling before a costly trial. Moore’s lawyers argued the agreement removed any adversarial relationship between the defendants and it would greatly change their strategy at trial.