Aug 222008
 

“Vicarious liability.” That’s the technical term for the liability that is imposed on the employer for the conduct of his/her employee, on the grounds that the employer should be held accountable for third party losses. Bruce Dowbiggin at the Calgary Herald argues that the recent turn of events in the Steve Moore case could set a precedent to the NHL’s policy of allowing “extreme violence” in the sport. This trial is extremely significant for the NHL because unlike the Marty McSorley or Dino Ciccarelli case, this is a civil case, not criminal.

Marc Crawofrd has vehemently denied any responsibility for Todd Bertuzzi‘s actions, and had argued that he was in fact trying to get Bertuzzi back to the bench moments before the sucker punch. Dowbiggin’s source claims that the trial will come down to Moore’s own decision to play that game. Should Moore have willingly dressed for that game, he will have to assume some responsibility, since it is assumed that there would be some concern for injury and high levels of risk.

However, Moore is arguing that the form of violence he was expecting was not “clean,” meaning it wasn’t a body check or a fight. He is further arguing that Bertuzzi had used unreasonable force, and if the judge sides with Moore there could potentially be a big payday for Moore. Should Moore win, the NHL head office may have to make drastic policies in allowing vigilante justice and violence, and perhaps change the overall face of the game. Intimidation tactics like the ones the Broad Street Bullies and the Ducks used may very well be a thing of the past.

Dowbiggin’s source also doesn’t think the blame should solely lie on the shoulders of Crawford, Canucks management, or Orca Bay, but the league as well:

“The NHL could have avoided this. Knowing the level of tension involved in Moore’s hit on Naslund, they could have simply suspended Moore for the two remaining games against Vancouver. That would have solved it. But the league was so arrogant it thought nothing would come of the situation. That let it happen. Now, they’re in a position where it may rebound on them big time.”

Apparently no one else in the world has 20/20 hindsight like Dowbiggin’s source. I would think that the league would’ve come under a lot of fire if they had to suspend Moore for “safety reasons.” Could you imagine to what lengths the league would take precautionary actions for a guy like Sidney Crosby? Would future Buffalo-Ottawa games not feature Ottawa’s entire top line? I’m sorry, but that’s just a bunk argument.

  2 Responses to “More on Moore”

  1.  

    Moore needs to let it go, he was a guy who played on the fringe of “morality”, who ended up getting the short end of the stick he was happily swinging around. BUT, to be fair, Berts, the NHL, and ORCA should get over it too and pay him 1M each to put it to bed. Thats probably mor then he would ever have made in the NHL, and it sends a message to every party involved that their is a price to pay for being over aggressive.

  2.  

    Unfortunately for the Canucks and Orca Bay, Moore won’t accept it, mostly because it’s too little. The NHL should not be involved in the Moore saga anymore than it already has, which was limited in the first place, because it gives another black eye to a sport that is still struggling to build a strong enough American fanbase.

    Moore’s first asking price was ridiculous, his second not so much. In the era of corporate and tort law I would not be surprised if Moore walks away from this lawsuit with at least $10m-$15m in his pocket.

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