The trial, set for eight days, began Tuesday.
The celebrity wellness influencer and “Shakespeare in Love” star was sued by Terry 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.
Sanderson says the crash seriously injured him and Paltrow left him on the mountain without help. Paltrow alleges Sanderson plowed into her and then told her he was fine.
Here’s everything to know about the case and what’s being said in court.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Terry Sanderson’s lawyers detail differing accounts on the first day in court
In opening arguments on the trial’s first day, both sides presented their clients as conservative skiers who were stunned when a skier above them crashed into them.
Paltrow’s legal team, including attorney Steve Owens, told jurors that Sanderson was the one who crashed into her — a collision in which she sustained what they called a “full body blow.” 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.
Sanderson’s attorneys have attempted to paint Paltrow as a negligent celebrity with little care for the injuries inflicted upon the 76-year-old military veteran.
Owens cautioned jurors not to let sympathy for Sanderson’s medical ailments – a brain injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries – skew their judgements. He questioned Sanderson’s credibility, noting his age and documented pre-collision brain injuries. Owens also said Sanderson posted a “very happy, smiling picture” of himself online, riding a toboggan post-crash.
Gwyneth Paltrow appears in courtduring first day of Utah ski collision trial
Will Gwyneth Paltrow take the stand?
Attorneys for Sanderson said they plan to call Paltrow to the stand to testify on Friday, but they could do so earlier in the week. Though the court is not publishing a witness list, testimony from numerous medical professionals and Paltrow’s children, Moses and Apple, is also expected.
USA TODAY has reached out to Paltrow’s attorneys for comment.
Why is Gwyneth Paltrow in court?
Paltrow is facing the lawsuit from Sanderson, who is seeking $300,000 and claiming the accident was a result of negligence that left him with physical injuries and emotional distress. Sanderson initially sought $3.1 million in a first lawsuit, which was dropped.
Sanderson claimed the Goop founder left him injured on the mountain and didn’t send help. He also alleged a Deer Valley ski instructor filed a false incident report saying Paltrow didn’t cause the crash.
Sanderson told reporters in Salt Lake City when he filed the lawsuit in January 2019 that he waited to file the lawsuit for nearly three years because he had problems with attorneys and could not function properly because of the concussion.
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What has Paltrow said about the ski crash?
Paltrow alleged in a counterclaim that the retired optometrist plowed into her from behind.
Paltrow said she was shaken by the collision and quit skiing with her family for the day. In her counterclaim, she said Sanderson apologized to her and said he was fine. She had previously denied blame for the crash in a statement but had not yet offered a full version of the events.
Paltrow is seeking “symbolic damages in the amount of $1, plus her costs and attorney’s fees to defend this meritless claim,” her lawsuit said. The actress vowed to donate any additional funds potentially awarded by the jury to a charitable organization.
Contributing: Edward Segarra, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
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