On Thursday, a jury found Paltrow not responsible after being sued by Terry Sanderson for a ski crash in 2016, referred to as a “hit and run.”
Paltrow was awarded $1 in symbolic damages for her countrerclaim in addition to her attorney fees. The celebrity wellness influencer and “Shakespeare in Love” star previously vowed to donate any additional funds potentially awarded by the jury to a charitable organization.
Judge Kent Holmberg instructed the jurors to determine whether “Sanderson was harmed and if so, whether anyone is at fault for that harm. You must also decide whether Gwyneth Paltrow was harmed and if so, whether anyone is at fault for that harm.”
“If you decide that more than one person is at fault you must then allocate fault among them (totaling 100 percent). Fault means any wrongful act or failure to act,” Holmberg continued, adding that fault, in this case, would be negligence based on whether they exercised reasonable care in the collision.
Holmberg said if the jury determined fault over 50 percent for either party, they would not recover any damages.
The trial began on March 21. Paltrow was sued by Sanderson in 2019, who claimed she seriously injured him during a crash on the beginner slopes at Deer Valley Resort in Park City on Feb. 26, 2016.
Gwyneth Paltrow was ‘pounded like a punching bag’ in trial, attorney says in closing argument
Closing arguments for the trial took place Thursday, hours before the verdict was read.
Paltrow’s attorneys pushed back against the claim that the pair’s collision was a “hit and run.” Sanderson said the crash seriously injured him and that Paltrow left him on the mountain without help. Paltrow alleged Sanderson plowed into her and then told her he was fine.
“It takes a lot of courage, does it not, for her to sit there for two weeks and be pounded like a punching bag?” said Paltrow’s attorney Steve Owens.
“He hit her. He hurt her, and he wants $3 million for it,” Owens continued. “That’s not fair. The easy thing for my client would have been to write a check and be done with it. … It’s actually wrong that he hurt her, and he wants money from her.”
Sanderson’s legal team focused a portion of its closing argument on the medical ailments the 76-year-old suffered as a result of the collision, which includes a brain injury and four broken ribs.
His legal team also cited the turmoil the accident caused in his personal life. “From the day after this incident happened there was a very serious decline, (and) the people that knew him best testified…as to the changes that they experienced with Terry,” attorney C. Peter Sorensen said.
Sorensen also criticized the dismissal of Sanderson’s injuries by Paltrow’s attorneys as a distraction from the reality of the collision. Owens previously cautioned jurors not to let sympathy for Sanderson’s injuries skew their judgments.
“They point the finger at Terry Sanderson and say ‘It’s your fault. You did this. You brought this on yourself,’” Sorensen said. “(Sanderson) wants the weighing of the scales the same way that Mrs. Paltrow does, but on those scales, someone has facts that are weighing, and someone has a lot of fanfare that when you really pry it, it’s a ‘So what?’ It’s nothing.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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