Gwyneth Paltrow was in a Park City courtroom on Tuesday for the start of a trial about a 2016 skiing accident in Utah.
Paltrow is accused of crashing into Terry Sanderson seven years ago while they were both skiing on a beginner run at Deer Valley Resort. She is said to have caused serious injuries to Sanderson and then left him.
Sanderson, who used to be an eye doctor and is now retired, filed the lawsuit in 2019, three years after the accident on the mountainside. Since then, he has said that the accident hurt his brain, broke four of his ribs, and hurt him emotionally. Sanderson also said that Paltrow left the scene without giving him her name, number, or calling for help.
A lawyer for Sanderson, Lawrence Buhler, started the case by saying, “Distracted skiers cause crashes. Defendant Gwyneth Paltrow knew that looking up the mountain and to the side while skiing down the mountain was dangerous.”
Paltrow’s lawyer, Stephen Owens, told the jury that Sanderson made up his story that the actress ran off the mountain after hitting him.
“We believe it to be utter B.S.,” Owens said. He also told the jury that it was Sanderson’s lawyers, not the actress, who had to prove their case.
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“You’re going to feel sorrow for [Sanderson] but that’s not why you’re here. You’re here to figure out if someone negligently crashed into someone or if no one did,” he said. “Skiing comes with inherent risks,” he said.
KSL.com said that in the first version of the suit, Sanderson asked for $3.1 million in damages. The news outlet says that in May 2022, Third District Judge Kent Holmberg threw out some of Sanderson’s claims against Paltrow because it was not a “hit-and-run” ski accident. The man, who is 76 years old, is now suing for $300,000.
In the meantime, the Oscar-winning actress and businesswoman filed a countersuit against Sanderson about a month after Sanderson did. In it, she told about the day and said that he was to blame for the crash. She said that he was uphill from her and her family when he hit her in the back, giving her a “full body blow.” Paltrow said that she was mad at Sanderson, and he said that he was sorry.
Both sides want the other to pay for their legal fees. Paltrow is seeking $1 in damages. Paltrow may or may not testify, but her lawyer told the jury that some of Paltrow’s family members who were skiing with her at the time of the accident will.