Gwyneth Paltrow, 50, will appear in court next week to face a negligence lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was severely injured by the actress in 2016 while the two were skiing in Park City, Utah.
Terry Sanderson, 76, claims the incident on the slopes was caused when Paltrow rammed him from behind, “knocking him down hard, knocking him out” and resulting in “permanent traumatic brain injury, 4 broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement,” according to the complaint.
The actress claims that Sanderson was the one who ran into her – and that he apologized to her immediately after the crash. Paltrow said the incident left her with minor injuries that kept her off the slopes for the rest of that day.
Sanderson claims Paltrow’s actions were the equivalent of a hit-and-run.
“Paltrow got up, turned and skied away, leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, seriously injured,” the complaint filed in 2019 alleged. “A Deer Valley ski instructor, who had been training Ms. Paltrow, but who did not see the crash, skied over, saw the injured Sanderson and skied off, falsely accusing Sanderson of having caused the crash.”
That instructor, Eric Christiansen, was initially named in the petition, along with the Deer Valley Resort Company, but they were later removed when a judge limited the line of argument about the hit-and-run. The ruling left the plaintiff with his claim of simple negligence against Paltrow for the crash itself – but axed all of the claims involving anything that happened after, according to Salt Lake City-based NBC affiliate KSL.
“No one with knowledge of Ms. Paltrow’s post-collision actions claims to have observed Paltrow acting recklessly,” the judge wrote in the order. “Even when interpreted in the light most favorable to [Sanderson], the undisputed facts fail to support his claim that Paltrow’s post-collision actions were likely to result in substantial harm, that they were highly unreasonable or an extreme departure from ordinary care, or that they came with an apparent and high degree of danger.”
The remaining cause of action equates to a $300,000 claim against the actress. The initial lawsuit claimed some $3.1 million in damages.
In a counterclaim, Paltrow alleges that Sanderson was the one who actually rammed into her from behind when she was climbing, giving her a “full body hit.” She says Sanderson admitted to a lack of clear memory about the incident – but says she remembers everything. Contrary to the plaintiff’s claim, the defendant says her instructor did see the crash occur.
Paltrow is seeking $1 in damages and attorney’s fees.
More Law&Crime coverage: Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Crash Trial: Doctor Suing Actress for Skiing ‘Out of Control’
In Utah, the law of the slopes holds that people ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
The trial begins next week, on March 21.
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