Park City, Utah – Gwyneth Paltrow and the man who broke four ribs after colliding at a Utah ski resort seven years ago are expected to testify Friday in a trial over his allegations that the movie star’s recklessness caused his concussion and permanent bodily injury.
Paltrow and Terry Sanderson, the retired ophthalmologist suing her, are expected to answer questions about the accident as their attorneys scramble to convince the 10-member jury who is responsible for the collision and who had the right of way as a downhill skier. Paltrow claims that Sanderson was responsible for the accident.
In a trial that Judge Kent Holmberg and attorneys for both parties agreed would last eight days, with each side getting four to call witnesses, Friday marks the last day Sanderson’s attorneys can force Paltrow to testify. Next week, Paltrow’s team is expected to call medical experts, ski instructors, and her two children, Moses and Abel.
The experience so far has highlighted Park City, Utah—the posh ski town known for rolling out a celebrity red carpet each January for the Sundance Film Festival—and Deer Valley Resort, where Paltrow and Sanderson were skiing on a Friday in February seven years ago. The resort is among the most luxurious in North America, known for its sunny slopes, champagne aprs-ski tents, and high-comfort lodges.
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The proceedings delved into the 76-year-old Sanderson’s medical history and personality quirks, with attorneys questioning whether his declining health and estranged relationships resulted from the collision or an innate phenomenon, such as aging or anger issues.
The experiment touched on topics ranging from skater etiquette to the power — and burden — of celebrities. The amount of money at stake for both sides pales in comparison to the typical legal costs of a multi-year lawsuit, private security detail, and expert witness-heavy trial.
Sanderson claims Paltrow recklessly collided with him while the two were skiing a junior race at Deer Valley Resort, breaking his ribs and causing a concussion. He is seeking “more than $300,000.” Paltrow offered $1 and attorney’s fees.
Lawyers for Paltrow, the actress-turned-influencer, spent much of Thursday fielding questions about Sanderson’s mention of her wealth and fame as well as his “obsession” with the lawsuit.
The first three days of the trial through Thursday were marked by testimony from medical experts, Sanderson’s personal physician, a ski buddy and his daughter, who said she noticed post-concussion symptoms less than a year after the accident and realized something had gone wrong.
Paltrow’s attorneys questioned Sanderson’s medical experts and asked if his earlier remarks indicated the lawsuit could be an attempt to exploit her fame and notoriety. On Thursday, her lawyers asked Sanderson’s daughter if her father thought it was “cool” to bump into a celebrity like Paltrow, the Oscar-winning “Shakespeare in Love” star and founder and CEO of lifestyle brand Goop.