Neal Auricchio was attacked by 33-year-old Dennis Veteri outside Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia on January 2, 2012.
Auricchio was wearing a New York Rangers jersey.
He became caught up in a fight between fans of the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers. Video of the brawl was caught on video and posted online.
After reviewing the video and talking to witnesses, police said it was clear that the fight was instigated by Veteri and others.
Veteri was sentenced last month to two years' house arrest.
Auricchio suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured eye socket.
At a news conference in Center City Philadelphia Thursday announcing the civil suit, Auricchio said the light sentence doesn't fit the crime.
"I felt with his rap sheet, as a police officer just understanding the law, that somebody with that many criminal incidents would serve some sort of time," he said.
Auricchio, an Iraq war veteran, is seeking damages to pay for his ongoing recovery.
He received a concussion and severe facial damage which required facial reconstructive surgery.