Gwyneth Paltrow was found not liable in her skiing accident trial, earning $1 in damages.
The jury reached a verdict on Thursday, March 30, and found that Terry Sanderson was 100 percent at fault for his collision with Paltrow, 50, on the slopes of Deer Valley, Utah, back in 2016.
“I felt that acquiescing to a false claim compromised my integrity,” the Shallow Hal actress said in a statement following her victory. “I am pleased with the outcome and I appreciate all of the hard work of Judge Holmberg and the jury, and thank them for their thoughtfulness in handling this case.”
As Paltrow exited the courtroom, she turned to Sanderson, 76, and said, “I wish you well.”
Paltrow’s attorney, Steve Owens, was also pleased with the outcome of the decision and praised his client. “Gwyneth has a history of advocating for what she believes in – this situation was no different and she will continue to stand up for what is right,” Owens said in a statement.
The now-retired doctor originally sued the Goop founder in January 2019 — three years after the incident occurred — and claimed that Paltrow severely injured him when the two crashed into one another while skiing in Deer Valley, Utah. Sanderson originally sought out $3.1 million in damages but later lowered the amount to $300,000.
While Sanderson claimed the Shakespeare in Love actress left the scene after the accident, Paltrow refuted the allegations. She told the court that she and her ski instructor “remained on [the] scene” and “rendered aid” to Sanderson and only left after they felt the doctor was not seriously injured.
The trial began at the Park City District Court on March 21 and proceeded for eight days. Sanderson and Paltrow each took the stand alongside a series of witnesses and medical professionals.
While on the stand, Paltrow maintained her innocence while detailing her perspective on the incident. During her testimony, she claimed she originally thought the collision was a potential sexual assault due to the intenseness of the crash.
“I was skiing and two skis came between my skis forcing my legs apart and then there was a body pressing against me and there was a very strange grunting noise so my brain was trying to make sense of what was happening.” she recalled. “ I thought, ‘Is this a practical joke? Is someone doing something perverted? This is really, really strange.’ My mind was going very quickly and I was trying to ascertain what was happening.”
Sanderson, for his part, took the stand after the actress to recount his version of the event. While testifying, he reenacted the Glee alum’s “blood curdling scream” from the accident.
“And then boom! It was like somebody was out of control and was going to hit a tree and was going to die,” Sanderson said after he imitated a low-pitch scream. “And that’s what I had until I was hit.”
Paltrow seemingly laughed and shook her head as the optometrist made his claims.
The jury also heard testimony from Paltrow’s children: Apple, 18, and Moses, 16, whom she shares with ex Chris Martin. Their depositions were read by their mother’s lawyer. The teenagers could not appear at the trial in person due to time restraints.
Per court documents obtained by Us Weekly in January 2019, Sanderson’s legal team claimed that the Oscar winner “skied out of control and hit the back of Terry Sanderson, another skier, who was downhill, knocking him down hard, knocking him out, and causing a brain injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries. Paltrow got up, turned and skied away, leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, seriously injured.”
Paltrow refuted the allegations and responded in a statement to Us at the time stating, “This lawsuit is completely without merit and we expect to be vindicated.”
One month later, the Iron Man actress decided to countersue the former optometrist in February 2019. The Marvel star sought out a jury trial and sued Sanderson for a symbolic $1 in damages plus reimbursement for her legal fees “to defend this meritless claim.” Moreover, her legal defense claimed that she was the one who was struck by Sanderson.
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“[Paltrow] was enjoying skiing with her family on vacation in Utah, when Plaintiff — who was uphill from Ms. Paltrow — plowed into her back,” According to documents obtained by Us. “She sustained a full ‘body blow.’ Ms. Paltrow was angry with Plaintiff, and said so. Plaintiff apologized. She was shaken and upset, and quit skiing for the day even though it was still morning.”
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