Gwyneth Paltrow WINS case against optometrist after jury ruled HE was to blame for 2016 Utah ski crash, and awards actress symbolic $1 charges she sought
- A jury in Park City, Utah, has cleared the actress of causing the ski crash
- The trial revolved around a 2016 skiing accident: Terry Sanderson, 76, sued Paltrow, 50, accusing her of crashing into him, but she claimed he hit her
- The trial began on March 21 and lasted eight days: the Oscar-winning actress was in court every day
Gwyneth Paltrow has won her case against retired optometrist Terry Sanderson who claimed she caused a 2016 ski collision at Utah ski resort that allegedly left him with with lasting brain damage.
Jurors found that it Sanderson, 76, was the one to blame for the crash. It took just two hours and 20 minutes for the jury to reach their verdict.
The decision comes after eight days of live-streamed courtroom testimony that drew worldwide audiences and became a pop culture fixation.
Paltrow arrives for court on Thursday after a break as closing arguments were about to begin
Terry Sanderson, 76, who was forced to swap ties Wednesday after showing up in a happy face printed neckwear, opted for a more low key choice for the final day of court
Sanderson’s lead attorney Lawrence Buhler guided jurors through the case questions and said they should respond ‘no’ when asked if Sanderson was at fault and ‘yes’ to a question asking if Paltrow is at fault
Sanderson was skiing with a friend; Paltrow was on a family holiday with her and her then-boyfriend Brad Falchuk’s children. Falchuk and Paltrow married in September 2018.
Sanderson filed for damages in January 2019 – initially seeking $3.1 million. The sum was reduced by a judge to $300,000 in compensation for the injuries he sustained.
Paltrow then filed a countersuit asking for a symbolic $1 and for her legal expenses to be covered.
Sanderson’s lawyers attempted to portray their client as someone who was lively and active before the accident, but significantly altered after.
He claims that she struck him in the back with such force that he was left with ‘permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement’.
Sanderson told the court: ‘I just remember everything was great and then I heard something I’ve never heard at a ski resort, and that was a blood-curling scream.
‘And then, boom, it was like somebody was out of control and going to hit a tree and was going to die. That’s what I [remembered] until I was hit.’
‘I got hit in my back so hard… right at my shoulder-blades, and the fists and the poles were right there at the bottom of my shoulder-blades, serious, serious smack,’ he added. ‘Never been hit that hard.’
Gwyneth Paltrow (far right) reacts during closing arguments in her ski crash trial Thursday as Terry Sanderson’s lawyer (center) told the jury that her version of the story was wrong
Paltrow, 50, who is being sued by Sanderson, gave a series of expressions during the closing arguments by Sanderson’s attorneys
In his complaint, Sanderson argued that Paltrow ‘got up, turned and skied away’ without summoning help, leaving him ‘stunned, lying in the snow, seriously injured’.
Paltrow and her team said that their ski instructor was on the scene and assisted Sanderson.
Paltrow’s team argued that Sanderson’s decline, though very sad, was not connected to the accident and pointed to prior medical issues.
They also emphasized that Sanderson’s daughter Jenny said her relationship with her father was troubled for many years.
And they repeatedly noted that Sanderson had emailed his daughters, saying: ‘I’m famous.’