The purpose of increasing the lawsuit for an exorbitant amount is to assess punitive (punishing) damages.
Note that this is a civil suit, and not criminal. The facts do not have to be beyond reasonable doubt. It will be decided by a jury based on the jury's opinions.
Worst case scenario, Bertuzzi loses, and appeals the amount, and will more than likely get it dropped.
The injury was significant as others have said. However, Moore has been able to skate. However due to concussion syndrome is not able to return to hockey. Hence the reason why most of it has not been as cut and dry.
Here's my read of the legal ramifications. Note that I am not a lawyer, just somewhat versed.
In all sports, we are responsible for the safety of others to the extent of what we can control. If you deliver a check to someone, that is generally fine. If he falls funny, and gets a concussion, well there is only so much you could do. In general most collisions are a part of the game / job. Heck, even fighting is unofficially recognized as part of the game.
The point of the lawsuit, is that Bertuzzi's actions went BEYOND the nature of the game.
He chased a guy around the rink for the better part of the game. That shows intent.
Now factor in that threats were made that Moore was a marked man. It could be interpreted that Bertuzzi was stalking. It could now be interpreted as malicious intent.
And finally factor in that Moore had his back or side to him when Bertuzzi hits him, knocking him to the ice. This can be seen as intent to do harm. Plus if Bertuzzi hadn't nailed him, he wouldn't have fallen to the ice and got his neck broken.
Bertuzzi showed malicious intent by stalking, was negligent in the safety for another, by blind siding Moore.
IMO, the criminal charges and results were fine. Even if Bertuzzi hadn't broken Moore's neck, the criminals charges were warranted.
Civil suits aren't as simple though. They only have to show that Bertuzzi was potentially responsible. (Remember OJ... lost without a single piece of proof)
Civil suits can factor in everything beyond facts, and can account for lost wages, long term suffering, the intangible / unaccountable / uncacluble things, etc.
Does anyone know the long term ramifications of extensive concussion syndromes? Look at football players who suffer from extensive concussions. They can barely walk much less function. Is this what Moore has to look forward too?
Bertuzzi's team can try to mitigate the long term concussions issue by showing that Moore suffered from prior concussions.
But that's just my legal expertise, and not the word of an attorney.
Yes its a real profession. In fact it works like this. They file a law suit on behalf of a "group" that is "hurt" by the environment. The left wing waco body of government usually a city council or county organization "settles" out of court with big money so the environmental lawyer makes a nice living. Quite a nice scam.