Gwyneth Paltrow “slammed very strongly” into another skier, hitting him in the back. He fell face-first in the snow and was “spread-eagled,” according to a US court.
Hollywood actress and 50-year-old star has been accused of “dangerous”, “reckless”, and “bolting” down the slopes without speaking a word. Terry Sanderson was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash in 2016.
The movie star and lifestyle influencer is alleged to have skied “outof control” on a family vacation and hit the retired optometrist at Deer Valley Resort, Utah. He sued her for $300,000. (PS245,000).
She denies the claim and her lawyer called Mr Sanderson’s version “utter BS”.
The suit claimed Paltrowcrushed into him, “knocking his down hard, knocking out and causing a brain injury and four broken ribs, as well as other serious injuries.”
It added that “Paltrow stood up, turned, and skied away, leaving Sanderson in shock, lying in the snow.”
The actress’s legal team told jurors that Mr Sanderson (76), was the one who crashed into her, in which she suffered what they called a “full-body blow”.
Craig Ramon was the first witness to testify on the opening day. He was a fellow skier, and an “acquaintance”, of Mr Sanderson. He said that he was the only person present at the moment of the collision. He was approximately 11m (35ft away).
Mr Ramon stated that he was skiing down the run when he heard a yell and scream. Then I looked up and saw Terry’s back and this skier, [Paltrow] had just slammed into his shoulder.
He was slammed very hard by her. He is hit in the back by her. His skis fall out, and he falls face-first. Gwyneth is right on top of him.
Paltrow is an Oscar-winning actress, best known for her roles as Paltrow in Shakespeare In Love, Marvel’s Iron Man movies and her Oscar-winning Oscar performance. She claims that Sanderson caused the collision and has overstated his injuries while trying to capitalize on her fame and wealth.
As the case began in Utah, Park City, the US star was seen in court in a cream jumper with a high neck and brown trousers.
Mr Ramon stated that he had spoken to both Mr Sanderson, and Mr Paltrow about their health.
“Terry was not moving, his face was frozen in the snow… his helmet was stuck to the snow. [Paltrow] looked at me again and she said nothing. He said, “She got up quickly… but she never spoke a word.”
Ski instructor shouted at Mr Sanderson
According to Mr Ramon, Eric Christiansen, a ski instructor arrived and began “yelling at” Mr Sanderson.
He claimed that Paltrow had “bolted” down the hill at that point.
Mr Ramon said that Paltrow hadn’t given her name or contact details and didn’t ask Mr Sanderson if he was hurt or needed help.
Lawrence Buhler represented Mr Sanderson and told jurors Paltrow’s 2016 behavior on the mountain was “reckless” and that he had accused her of having a “conscious disregard for others on the mountain”.
Buhler stated that she knew it was dangerous to look up and down mountains while ski-descending.
According to Mr Buhler, the defense is seeking damages up to $3276,000 (PS2,688,000).
Who was further downhill?
Utah law grants skiers who are downhill the right-of-way on ski slopes. The central question is who was further down the beginner’s ski run at the time of the collision.
Both Paltrow, Mr Sanderson and their respective skis were further downhill when one rammed into the other. This caused their skis to become intertwined and led to the pair falling.
The defense’s case
Paltrow’s legal team insist that Sanderson crashed into Paltrow.
Steve Owens, her lawyer, called the version that Mr Sanderson gave of the incident “utter BS”.
He claimed that Paltrow’s members checked on Mr Sanderson and they assured him he was fine. This interaction Mr Sanderson did not deny, but stated in court filings that it was something he couldn’t remember.
Mr Owens said that Paltrow had told her daughter “some A-hole” had gotten into her, and she had been “mad” afterward. She then decided to stop skiing for the day.
Sanderson accused Deer Valley of covering up by not giving complete information about incident reports, and not following resort safety policy.
In 2019 Mr Sanderson sued Paltrow seeking $3.1m (PS2.5m), in damages.
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The actress retorted for a symbolic $1 and claimed that it was Mr Sanderson who caused the crash.
Paltrow claimed that she was shaken after the collision. She also claimed that Sanderson apologized to her and assured her that he was fine.
The trial will last eight days.