Gwyneth Paltrow trial begins as actor accused of ‘out of control’ ski crash
Gwyneth Paltrow, Retired optometrist sues actor for $300,000 in case that has lasted years following 2016 accident at upscale Deer Valley Resort
A trial pitting the Oscar-winning actor Gwyneth Paltrow against a retired optometrist who accused Paltrow of violently crashing into him during a 2016 ski accident began on Tuesday in a Utah courthouse.
The legal dispute stems from a ski crash that happened more than seven years ago between Paltrow and retiree Terry Sanderson, 76, at an upscale US skiing resort. Attorneys representing Sanderson argue that Paltrow’s negligence caused the collision and severely injured him.
“It’s the uphill skiers’ responsibility to yield the right of way to the people below … especially on a beginner run,” said attorney Robert Sykes, representing Sanderson. “They know that skiers may be less experienced and that skiers below them trust that the ones coming behind are paying attention.”
The trial began about 9am in Park City judge Kent R Holmberg’s courtroom. A jury of six women and four men were sworn in at 9.45am, local NBC affiliate KSL reported.
Paltrow arrived at the courthouse with a bodyguard at approximately 8am mountain time, the New York Post reported.
Given publicity around the case, Holmberg reiterated courthouse decorum rules and noted that photo, video and mobile devices were only allowed by approved members of the media, the Utah outlet KUTV reported.
Holmberg told attendees that the bailiff had already removed one person who was taking pictures without approval and ensured that the photos were deleted.
Holmberg reminded media reporters in attendance that they were not allowed to move from their assigned spots and that recording devices could not make noise during the proceedings.
The trial is expected to last a little more than a week and end by 30 March.
RelatedGwyneth Paltrow’s Utah ski accident: Actress set to take stand in $300,000 civil case – سبوت ميديا – Spot Media
Sanderson said that on 26 February 2016 Paltrow was cruising down the slopes so recklessly that they collided, leaving him on the ground as the lifestyle influencer and her entourage continued their descent down Deer Valley Resort, a skiers-only mountain known for its groomed runs, après-ski champagne yurts and posh clientele.
“Gwyneth Paltrow skied out of control,” Sanderson’s attorneys claim in the lawsuit, “knocking him down hard, knocking him out, and causing a brain injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries. Paltrow got up, turned and skied away, leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, seriously injured.”
In a case that has lasted years, Sanderson is suing Paltrow for $300,000 – claiming that the accident was a result of negligence and left him physically injured as well as emotionally distressed.
Park City is a mountain resort town which hosts the Sundance film festival that draws a host of celebrities annually.
The case could turn on determining whether Paltrow or Sanderson were further down the beginner’s run when the collision transpired. Both claim in court filings that they were further downhill – and therefore had the right of way – when they were rammed into by the other.
Sanderson also accused Deer Valley and its employees of engaging in a “cover-up” by not providing complete information on reports about the accident and not following resort safety policies.
Deer Valley was once a party in the suit and has since been dismissed from the case, KUTV reported.
Sanderson initially sued for $3.1m but some of his demands were dropped by the court in May 2022, with the amount sought later amended to $300,000 in damages.
Paltrow – known for roles in Shakespeare in Love and Marvel’s Iron Man movies – countersued, demanding attorney’s fees and $1m in damages.
She not only alleges that it was Sanderson at fault for the collision which dealt her a “full body blow”. Her petition also accuses him of exaggerating his injuries and of wanting to simply exploit her fame and wealth, and it says that her group checked on Sanderson after the crash.
Sanderson – who had 15 documented medical conditions at the time of the crash – said he was fine, according to Paltrow’s legal team.
“He demanded Ms Paltrow pay him millions,” the actor’s legal team wrote in a 2019 courting filing. “If she did not pay, she would face negative publicity resulting from his allegations.”
The Associated Press contributed reporting.
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