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Bertuzzi lawyers to ask for change of venue in civil suit

TORONTO -- Todd Bertuzzi's lawyers are seeking to have the civil lawsuit filed against the forward by Steve Moore heard in a British Columbia court instead of in Ontario.

Lawyers for Bertuzzi, the Vancouver Canucks and the NHL club's parent company Orca Bay want the case to be heard in British Columbia, where Moore was injured on March 8, 2004, after Bertuzzi knocked him to the ice with a roundhouse punch.

Moore's lawyer Tim Danson confirmed the defendants' request for a change of venue.

"This is all happening now, so this will flesh out in the next couple of weeks," Danson said Wednesday.

Moore is seeking $15 million in lost wages, $1 million in aggravated damages and another $2 million in punitive damages from Bertuzzi in a lawsuit filed in Ontario in February while the Canucks star was playing for Canada at the Olympic Games.

The suit names Orca Bay along with the NHL team.

Moore's parents are also claiming $1.5 million in damages for "the nervous shock and mental distress" caused by the attack. Moore originally filed the lawsuit in Denver, but a U.S. judge determined the suit should be dealt with in Canada.

Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to assaulting Moore. Moore, then with the Colorado Avalanche, was left with three fractured neck vertebrae, a concussion and other injuries.

Bertuzzi was reinstated to the NHL in August after being indefinitely suspended and missing 13 regular-season games and the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2004. He lost about $502,000 in salary and is to earn about $5.2 million this season.

Bertuzzi faced up to 1½ years in prison after Vancouver authorities charged him with assault. He pleaded guilty and was then sentenced to probation and community service.