Gwyneth Paltrow could take the stand today in a trial about a 2016 ski crash between the actor-turned-lifestyle influencer and the retired optometrist suing her and claiming her recklessness left him with lasting injuries and brain damage.
Terry Sanderson, 76, sued the Oscar-winning actress in January 2019 and alleged she crashed into the back of him and abandoned the scene of the beginner’s run at the exclusive Deer Valley resort in Utah on February 26 2016.
The retired optometrist sought damages in excess of $3.1 million after the accident left him with a ‘permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement’. However, a judge dismissed his original claim and he is now suing Paltrow for £300,000.
Today, in the second day of their trial, Sanderson’s lawyers said they expected to call four witnesses – including a radiologist and neuropsychologist – to testify in the trial today. They left the possibility that one could be Paltrow, depending on when others expected to testify arrive in Park City.
Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured in court yesterday) could take the stand today in a trial about a 2016 ski crash between the actor-turned-lifestyle influencer and the retired optometrist suing her and claiming her recklessness left him with lasting injuries and brain damage
Terry Sanderson, 76, sued the Oscar-winning actress in January 2019 and alleged she crashed into the back of him and abandoned the scene of the beginner’s run at the exclusive Deer Valley resort in Utah on February 26 2016
Pictured: Gwyneth Paltrow in a social media post the year before the accident at Deer Valley resort in Utah. She captioned the post: ’20 years later and I still got it #justlikeridingabike’
Paltrow’s attorney Steve Owens showed the jury an email reportedly sent by Sanderson to his daughters after the collision that included a link to a Facebook status that said ‘I’m famous!’
‘He doesn’t post ‘I’m hurt’, he doesn’t post confusing stuff,’ Owens told the court. ‘Gwyneth was hurt by Mr Sanderson’s negligence…she is upset.
‘Anyone sustaining a blow is upset, she is sore, she never went to a doctor…but it rattled here and it physically hurt her.’
He said that Paltrow had told her daughter that ‘some a-hole’ had run into her and had been ‘mad’ later opting to finish skiing for the day.
Today, more witnesses are expected to be called to testify in the trial. Though the court is not publishing a witness list, attorneys said Wendell Gibby and Sam Goldstein – a radiologist and neuropsychologist – would likely be called to testify on Wednesday.
Sanderson’s lawyers said they expected to call four witnesses total on Wednesday and left the possibility open that one could be Paltrow, depending on when others expected to testify arrive in Park City.
Gibby and Goldstein have previously appeared as expert witnesses for Sanderson, who has said he broke ribs and sustained brain damage from the crash.
Thus far, attorneys have argued over whether Sanderson’s medical problems stemmed from the crash or were merely a byproduct of ageing.
Both parties blame the other for the collision and claim they were crashed into from behind, relying on a little-known Utah law stipulating that whoever is downhill has the right of way when skiing and snowboarding.
The trial over the incident at Deer Valley Resort (pictured) began yesterday at Park City District Court
Paltrow is pictured in the courtroom on Tuesday at the beginning of the trial
Sanderson claims that Paltrow was cruising down the slopes so recklessly that they violently collided, leaving him on the ground as she and her entourage continued their descent down the skiers-only mountain known for its groomed runs, après-ski champagne yurts and posh clientele.
‘All skiers know that when they’re skiing down the mountain, it’s their responsibility to yield the right of way to skiers below them,’ Sanderson’s attorney, Lawrence Buhler, told jurors, who – unlike those selected for most trials – walked into the courtroom smiling, likely because of their proximity to a major celebrity.
Buhler highlighted his client’s military service record and tried to appeal to the jury’s sympathies – describing the broken ribs and brain trauma Sanderson sustained during and after the crash.
Attempting to draw a contrast, Buhler described Paltrow as a wealthy, experienced skier who adopted a ‘So what?’ attitude about the collision.
‘She hires multiple ski instructors for her children, which allows them to skip the lines. Private instructors cost thousands of dollars per day,’ he said.
Paltrow’s attorney have asked Judge Kent Holmberg to enact special restrictions throughout the actor-turned-wellness tycoon’s trial, while she has used a blue notebook to shield her face from view when entering and exiting the courtroom.
They called Sanderson’s story ‘utter B.S.’ building off earlier claims from court filings and previous depositions where they accused him of suing to exploit the Oscar-winning star of ‘Shakespeare in Love’s’ wealth and celebrity.
Sanderson’s attorneys have thus far attempted to paint her as a negligent celebrity with little care for the injuries inflicted upon the 76-year-old military veteran. They called Sanderson’s ex-girlfriend and a ski companion who was nearby during the crash to testify on Tuesday.
Craig Ramon, a friend of Sanderson’s who was skiing roughly 35 feet away at the time of the crash, said he heard a loud scream and saw Sanderson’s ski tips fly up, causing him to fall face-down ‘spread-eagle’ upon the collision.
He testified that Paltrow hit Sanderson, bouncing off his back and sliding to his right.
Paltrow’s ski instructor, a Deer Valley employee, approached moments later and said, ‘Your buddy just took out Gwyneth Paltrow,’ Ramon testified.
Paltrow’s attorney’s attempted to paint Ramon as a close friend of Sanderson by showing pictures of him calmly smiling with other friends after the crash and brought up – but did not probe into – an email chain with Sanderson’s family that suggested the collision was captured with a GoPro camera. The footage has not been seen or included as part of the trial’s evidence.
Karlene Davidson said the crash had ‘changed’ Sanderson and contributed to the demise of their romance. She said that in addition to his injuries, she noticed his demeanor changed after the crash.
He grew more distant and she said ‘had no joy left in his life,’ which led to the demise of their relationship.
Sanderson’s attorneys attributed the changes to the crash. Paltrow’s attorneys noted that the man had started dating another woman quickly after their break-up.
Park City is a resort town in the Rocky Mountains that hosts the Sundance Film Festival, which draws a throng of celebrities each year.
Paltrow and Sanderson both agree that they collided while on a beginner’s run seven years ago, yet both accuse the other of being at fault and skiing up behind them.
Paltrow has alleged that Sanderson is overstating his injuries and trying to exploit her celebrity and wealth. In addition to her acting career, she is also the founder and CEO of high-end wellness company Goop.
‘He demanded Ms. Paltrow pay him millions. If she did not pay, she would face negative publicity resulting from his allegations,’ her attorneys wrote in a 2019 court filing.
The trial is expected to include testimony from numerous medical professionals and Paltrow’s children, Moses and Apple.
Sanderson is suing Paltrow for $300,000 – claiming that the accident in Park City was a result of negligence, and left him with physical injuries and emotional distress. After the collision, Sanderson’s attorneys said their client went to urgent care and to the emergency room.
On ski slopes, Utah law gives the skier who is downhill the right of way, so a central question in the case is who was farther down when the collision transpired. Both Paltrow and Sanderson claim that they were farther downhill when the other rammed into them.
Both sides are presenting their clients as conservative skiers who were stunned when a skier above them crashed into them.
Paltrow’s attorneys told jurors Tuesday that Sanderson was the one who crashed into her – a collision in which she sustained what in court filings they called a ‘full body blow.’
Attorney Steve Owens noted that members of Paltrow’s group checked on Sanderson, who assured them he was fine – an interaction Sanderson doesn’t deny but said in court filings that he can’t remember.
After his initial lawsuit seeking $3.1 million was dismissed, Sanderson amended the complaint and he is now seeking $300,000. Paltrow – the Oscar-winning actor known for her roles in ‘Shakespeare in Love’ and Marvel’s ‘Iron Man’ movies – filed a counterclaim, seeking attorney fees and $1 in damages.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk