Gwyneth Paltrow, 50, will appear in court next week to face a negligence lawsuit brought by a man who claims he was seriously injured by the actress in 2016 while skiing in Park City, Utah.
Terry Sanderson, 76, claims the incident on the tracks 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 it was Sanderson who met her – and that he apologized to her immediately after the accident. Paltrow said the incident left her with minor injuries that kept her off the tracks for the rest of the day.
Sanderson claims Paltrow’s actions were the equivalent of a hit and run.
“Paltrow got up, turned and skied off, leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, badly injured,” according to the lawsuit filed in 2019. “A Deer Valley ski instructor, who had coached Ms. Paltrow, but who did not see the accident, skied, saw Sanderson injured and left, falsely accusing Sanderson of having caused the accident.”
This instructor, Eric Christiansen, was originally named in the petition, along with the Deer Valley Resort Company, but they were later removed when a judge limited the hit-and-run argument. The decision left the plaintiff with his allegation of simple negligence against Paltrow for the crash itself – but removed all claims about anything that happened after, according to Salt Lake City-based NBC affiliate KSL.
“No one with knowledge of Ms. Paltrow’s actions after the collision claims to have observed Paltrow act recklessly,” the judge wrote in the order. “Even when interpreted in the light most favorable to [Sanderson]the undisputed facts do not support his assertion that Paltrow’s actions after the collision were likely to result in significant harm, that they were highly unreasonable or an extreme departure from ordinary care, or that they accompanied of an apparent and high degree of danger.
The remaining cause of action amounts to a $300,000 claim against the actress. The original lawsuit sought some $3.1 million in damages.
In a counterclaim, Paltrow alleges that it was Sanderson who actually rammed her from behind as she was climbing, giving her a “full body blow”. She says Sanderson admitted a lack of clear memory about the incident – but says she remembers everything. Contrary to what the plaintiff claims, the defendant asserts that his instructor saw the accident occur.
Paltrow seeks $1 in damages and attorney’s fees.
More Law&Crime coverage: Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Crash Trial: Doctor sues actress for skiing ‘out of control’
In Utah, the Law of the Slopes states that people ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
The trial begins next week, March 21.
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