PARK CITY, Utah — Gwyneth Paltrow is expected to go on trial Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by a retired optometrist who claimed the actress-turned-lifestyle influencer crashed hard into him in 2016 while skiing at one of Utah’s ski slopes most exclusive resort in the United States.
Terry Sanderson, 76, said Paltrow was rushing down slopes so recklessly they collided, leaving him stranded as she and her entourage continued their descent down Deer Valley Resort, a ski-only mountain known for its groomed slopes, aprs-ski champagne yurts and elegant clientele.
“Gwyneth Paltrow lost control on her skis,” Sanderson’s lawyers say in the lawsuit, “causing him to fall hard, knocking him to the ground, resulting in brain damage, four broken ribs and other serious injuries. Paltrow stood up, stood turned and ran away, Sanderson dazed, lying in the snow, badly wounded”.
In a case spanning years since the 2016 crash, Sanderson is suing Paltrow for $300,000, claiming the crash in Park City was the result of negligence and left him with physical injuries and emotional distress.
At ski resorts, the skier who is downhill has right of way, so a central question in the case is who was further down the beginner slope when the collision occurred. Both Paltrow and Sanderson claim in court that they were more downhill when the other rammed them.
Sanderson also accused Deer Valley and its employees of engaging in a “cover” by not providing comprehensive information on incident reports and failing to follow resort safety policies.
After his initial lawsuit seeking $3.1 million was dropped, Sanderson amended the complaint and is now seeking $300,000. Paltrow — the Academy Award-winning actress best known for her roles in “Shakespeare in Love” and the Marvel films “Iron Man” — filed a counterclaim in response, seeking attorneys’ fees and $1 in damages.
Paltrow countered that he was actually the culprit in the collision, is exaggerating his injuries, and is trying to exploit his celebrity and wealth. In addition to her acting career, she is also the founder and CEO of the high-end wellness company, goop.
In court documents filed, her lawyers deny Sanderson’s claims and argue that he was the one who crashed into her — a collision in which she suffered a “blow to the whole body.” Her counterclaim alleges that members of Paltrow’s group checked on Sanderson, who assured them she was fine. She questions her motive and injury claims, noting that prior to the crash, she had 15 documented medical conditions.
“He asked Ms. Paltrow to pay him millions. If she didn’t pay, he would have faced negative publicity stemming from his allegations,” his lawyers wrote in a 2019 court filing.
The trial in Park City is expected to last more than a week.