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Jury verdict announced in Gwyneth Paltrow ski-crash trial

The Hollywood star stood accused of being responsible for a collision with a retired optometrist on a Utah mountain in 2016

Oscar-winning American actress Gwyneth Paltrow has been found not guilty in a trial over a ski collision, with the opposing party ordered to pay a symbolic $1 in damages and cover her legal costs.

On Thursday, a jury in the Utah court sided with Paltrow, 50, who was sued by retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, 76, over an incident that took place at the Deer Valley ski resort in 2016.

Sanderson accused the Hollywood star of having crashed into him on the track, resulting in him suffering concussion and several broken ribs. Initially, he had demanded more than $3 million in compensation for what the plaintiff described as lasting brain damage which affected his personal life, but later this sum was knocked down to $300,000. 

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Gwyneth Paltrow attends the WSJ Tech D.Live at Montage Laguna Beach on November 13, 2018 in Laguna Beach, California
Hollywood star stands trial over ski crash

In a countersuit, Paltrow demanded $1 from the optometrist, disputing his version of events. The actress insisted that it was Sanderson who crashed into her from behind, adding that she initially thought that she was being sexually assaulted.

She also contested the testimony of Sanderson’s witness Craig Ramon, a member of the optometrist’s online ski chat group, who claimed to have seen Paltrow running into him from behind. The actress, however, cast doubt on this allegation, pointing out that Ramon was colorblind and standing some 40 feet away (12 meters) from the scene at the time of the incident.

“I don’t know how he can be positive about what he saw, especially with how much he changed his story,” Paltrow said.

She also dismissed the opposing party’s claim that she had left the crash scene without waiting to see whether Sanderson was all right, insisting that she stayed “long enough for him to say that he was OK.” 

Meanwhile, Paltrow’s ski instructor wrote in a report after the collision that he “clearly observed [Sanderson] as the uphill skier.” Under Utah law, the downhill skier has priority on a track.

Paltrow is best known for her roles in films like ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, ‘Shakespeare In Love’, and the Iron Man series. In 1999, she received the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in ‘Shakespeare In Love’. She is also the founder of the Goop lifestyle brand, which is reportedly valued at around $250 million.

March 31, 2023 at 08:35PM

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