A former NHL enforcer left with brain damage after a bar brawl in Delta, B.C. has lost his legal bid to get the city and local police chief to pay him damages for negligence.

Garrett Burnett was knocked into a coma and had to depend on life support after he was hit over the head with a bar stool in a fight at Cheers Nightclub on Boxing Day, 2006.

A suspect was never identified, but the ex-Anaheim Duck filed suit against the Corporation of Delta, Delta Police Chief Jim Cessford and the officers who investigated the attack, claiming they were liable for his injuries. Burnett argued that the assault was not properly investigated and that Cheers was a rowdy club that should have been the subject of a public warning.

Those claims were dismissed in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday.

Justice Austin Cullen wrote in his decision that a public warning about past fights at Cheers would have had little effect on someone like Burnett, an admitted patron of brawl-heavy bars like The Roxy in downtown Vancouver.

"It is objectively improbable that he would have heeded any such warning had he encountered it, given the evidence of his attendance at other bars or nightclubs with similar environments to Cheers and his consumption of drugs that would tend to affect his judgment," Cullen said.

Tests taken after the fight showed cocaine in his blood and alcohol levels between .133 and .153. Burnett's lawyer also conceded that the hockey player was a steroid user.

As to Burnett's argument that the Delta Police Department had failed in its investigation by not turning up a suspect in the attack, Cullen said there was simply not enough evidence to prove that the officers had fallen short of their duties.

"All potential witnesses were interviewed, all surveillance tapes were seized and reviewed, certain forensic tests were performed on the alleged weapon used and information from the public was solicited through the Crime Stoppers program," the judge said.

After the attack, Burnett also sued the staff and management of the bar, but that matter was settled out of court in February for an undisclosed sum.

The B.C. government is also suing the police department to recover the cost of Burnett's care under the Health Care Costs Recovery Act, which allows the Ministry of Health to suit third parties for care of an injury caused by a "wrongful act."

Burnett played one season in the NHL, racking up 184 penalty minutes in 2003-2004, which earned him the ninth highest tally in the league.