Gwyneth Paltrow found not responsible in ski collision trial
Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski collision trial has come to an end.
On Thursday, a jury found Paltrow not responsible after he was sued by Terry Sanderson over a 2016 skiing accident described as a “hit and run.”
Paltrow was awarded symbolic damages of $1 for her counterclaim, in addition to her attorneys’ fees. The celebrity wellness influencer and ‘Shakespeare in Love’ star previously vowed to donate any additional funds that may be awarded by the judges to a charity.
Judge Kent Holmberg directed the jury to determine whether “Sanderson was harmed and, if so, whether anyone is responsible for that harm. They must also decide whether Gwyneth Paltrow was harmed and, if so, whether anyone is responsible for that harm.”
“If you decide that more than one person is at fault, you have to assign blame to them (100 percent overall). Fault means any wrongdoing or omission,” Holmberg said, adding that fault in this case would be negligence contingent on them exercising reasonable care at the collision.
Holmberg said if the jury found either party more than 50 percent at fault, they would not seek damages.
The trial began on March 21st. Paltrow was sued in 2019 by Sanderson, who claimed she seriously injured him in a fall on the beginner slopes of Deer Valley Resort in Park City on February 26, 2016.
Gwyneth Paltrow was “beaten like a punching bag” during the trial, the attorney says in the closing arguments
The closing arguments for the trial took place on Thursday, hours before the verdict was read.
Paltrow’s attorneys have fought back claims that the couple’s collision was a “hit and run.” Sanderson said the crash seriously injured him and that Paltrow left him on the mountain without assistance. Paltrow claimed Sanderson plowed into her and then told her he was fine.
“It takes a lot of courage, doesn’t it, for her to sit there for two weeks and get hit like a punching bag?” said Paltrow’s attorney Steve Owens.
“He hit her. He hurt her and wants $3 million for it,” Owens continued, citing Sanderson’s previous $3.1 million lawsuit. “It’s not fair. The easiest thing for my client would have been to write a check and be done. … It’s actually wrong that he hurt her and he wants money from her.”
Sanderson’s legal team focused part of his final argument on the medical ailments the 76-year-old suffered as a result of the crash, including a brain injury and four fractured ribs.
His legal team also cited the turmoil the accident had caused in his personal life. “From the day after this incident happened, there was a very serious decline, (and) the people who knew him best testified … about the changes they experienced with Terry,” Attorney C. Peter said Sorensen.
Sorensen also criticized Paltrow’s attorneys’ dismissal of Sanderson’s injuries as a distraction from the reality of the collision. Owens previously warned jurors not to be distorted by sympathy for Sanderson’s injuries judgements.
“They point the finger at Terry Sanderson and say, ‘It’s your fault. you did that You brought this on yourself,'” Sorensen said. “(Sanderson) wants the scales weighed just as much as Mrs. Paltrow does, but on that scale someone has facts that weigh and someone has a lot of fanfare that there’s a ‘so what?’ It’s nothing.”
Contribution: The Associated Press