The Province

Lawyer says Vancouver’s ex-owner should testify


TORONTO — The former owner of the Vancouver Canucks should be forced to say, in front of a jury, if he approved a career-ending sucker punch on Steve Moore, a lawyer for the former NHL player argued in court Thursday.

It’s now 10 years since Todd Bertuzzi’s infamous hit, and Moore’s multi-million-dollar lawsuit is finally approachin­g a trial.

Moore’s lawyer, Tim Danson, is asking the Ontario Superior Court to compel John McCaw Jr., who is based in Seattle, to testify in Toronto.

“He just goes on with his life with the incredible privileges of being a billionair­e ... while Steve Moore tries to recover from a shattered life,” Danson said in court Thursday.

Master Ronald Dash, who is hearing the motion, said he would not order McCaw to testify in person at the trial, slated to begin in September, but is considerin­g Danson’s alternate request that McCaw testify via video.

McCaw’s lawyer, Steven Frankel, argued that the court doesn’t have jurisdicti­on to do that, and said there is no evidence before the court that McCaw, who is not an individual defendant, even has relevant evidence to give.

Moore is suing Bertuzzi and the Canucks for $38 million for a 2004 onice hit that left Moore, then a Colorado Avalanche player, with a concussion and three fractured vertebrae.

Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm and was sentenced in 2006 to a year’s probation and 80 hours of community service.

According to his lawyer, Moore “still suffers from significan­t post-concussion symptoms that have a significan­t impact on his life.”

Danson argued that a jury should be able to hear McCaw say whether he knew Canucks players wanted to retaliate against Moore for a hit weeks earlier on former Canucks’ captain Markus Naslund that resulted in a concussion.

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