A verdict has been reached in the Gwyneth Paltrow ski crash trial today in Park City, Utah, and the actor has been cleared of any wrongdoing. Paltrow was awarded the $1 requested in her countersuit.
The bizarre, televised trial captivated social media for the past couple of weeks. Terry Sanderson, a 76-year-old retired optometrist, sued Paltrow for $300,000, alleging that in 2016 the actor skied into him on Utah slopes, leaving him with a concussion, four broken ribs and a brain injury. Paltrow then countersued for $1 and attorney’s fees. Sanderson originally sued for $3.1 million before a judge ruled against him seeking punitive damages.
Under Utah law, the downhill skier has the right of way, but both Paltrow and Sanderson claimed that they were the one downhill.
Paltrow testified first, telling the eight-member jury that it was Sanderson who had crashed into her. “You skied directly into my fucking back,” said Paltrow. In her testimony, she recalled watching her children skiing down the slope when Sanderson hit her from behind.
“I was skiing, and two skis came between my skis, forcing my legs apart,” she said. “And then there was a body pressing against me.”
“My brain was trying to make sense of what was happening,” Paltrow said in court. “I thought, ‘Is this a practical joke? Is someone doing something perverted?’”
Sanderson took the stand Monday, telling the jury, “I just remember everything was great and then I heard something I’ve never heard at a ski resort and that was a blood-curdling scream.” He went on to say he was hit in the back at the shoulder blades and went flying, and that everything then went black.
During the trial, both medical and ski experts were also brought to testify in front of the jury.