A jury is now deliberating on a civil case from a ski collision involving actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Terry Sanderson, a retired optometrist, has sued Paltrow for over $300,000 in damages, testifying that Paltrow caused the collision at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, in 2016, resulting in Sanderson sustaining four broken ribs and brain damage from a concussion. Paltrow, the founder and CEO of Goop testified that Sanderson skied into her, and she is seeking $1 in damages plus attorneys’ fees in her counterclaim.
‘Sanderson is not seeking for fame and attention’: Attorney
Sanderson’s attorney, Robert Sykes, rejected claims that Sanderson was seeking fame and attention, saying, “Part of him will always be on that mountain. We hope you will help bring Terry home off that mountain with a fair verdict for today.” Gwyneth Paltrow‘s attorney, Steve Owens, meanwhile, asserted in closing that it would be “easy” for Paltrow “to write a check and be done with it” but said that would be “wrong.”
During the trial, jurors heard testimony from Sanderson’s daughters, ski resort employees, and expert witnesses. Sanderson reiterated his claims that Paltrow skied into him and caused his injuries, while Paltrow said that Sanderson skied into her. Paltrow also testified that she stayed on the mountain “long enough for him to say that he was OK” and to stand up, but Sanderson disputed these claims.
Paltrow’s attorneys asked jurors to disregard the opposing side’s emotional pleas for sympathy for Sanderson over the state of his relationships. Paltrow’s legal team said it would’ve been easier for their client to settle the lawsuit and put the crash behind her. Paltrow and her then-boyfriend Brad Falchuk brought their kids together for the first time during the 2016 family trip to Deer Valley Resort to join families.
Sanderson initially filed a $3.1 million complaint, but a judge dismissed it. He then amended and refiled the lawsuit seeking “more than $300,000,” which is the threshold that provides the opportunity to introduce the most evidence and depose the most witnesses allowed in civil court. In closing arguments, his attorneys estimated more than $3.2 million in damages. On the other hand, Paltrow has countersued for a symbolic $1 and attorney fees, although her attorneys claim that the crash had caused her far more damage.
As the eight-person jury weighs dueling versions of who was the downhill skier, making the other side guilty according to a skier responsibility code, both Paltrow and Sanderson’s attorneys have portrayed their clients as aggrieved victims participating in a years-long legal battle to take a stand for truth.