Gwyneth Paltrow could take stand in ski collision trial on Friday
Gwyneth Paltrow could take the stand as early as Friday in a Park City, Utah courtroom during an ongoing trial over a 2016 skiing accident that she was involved in.
The actress and businesswoman has been present in the courtroom since the trial began on Tuesday when lawyers representing Paltrow and Terry Sanderson, a 76-year-old retired optometrist, presented their opening statements to a seated jury.
Sanderson could also testify on Friday.
At the end of Thursday’s proceedings, Sanderson’s lawyers said Paltrow would take the stand on Friday “if there’s time.”
Before testimony resumed on Friday, Paltrow’s lawyer indicated he’d been told Paltrow would be called to the stand before Sanderson.
Sanderson has accused Paltrow of crashing into him and causing him lasting injuries and brain damage while they were both skiing on a beginner’s run on a Utah mountain in February of 2016. Sanderson also claims Paltrow and her ski instructor skied away after the incident without getting him medical care.
Paltrow filed a countersuit against Sanderson in 2019 claiming that he skied into her.
The two have been in a legal battle for seven years.
In the days since the trial began, a series of witnesses have testified, including Sanderson’s friend Craig Ramon, who also on the slopes the day of the collision. Ramon was the first witness to testify in the trial on Tuesday.
Radiologist Wendell Gibby testified on Wednesday that Sanderson “deteriorated” after the collision and stopped doing many of the activities he did prior to the incident. The jury also heard expert witness testimony from neuropsychologist Sam Goldstein, who evaluated Sanderson in 2020 and testified about various shifts in Sanderson’s mental health since the collision.
On Thursday, Sanderson’s daughter Polly Sanderson-Grasham gave emotional testimony about how a year and a half after the crash, she noticed her father’s “processing speed” appeared to have changed. Sanderson-Grasham later said her father is a “principled man” and that she believes that he wants “someone to at least apologize or acknowledge or be held accountable for their decision that day.”
Video depositions of Alina K. Fong, a clinical neuropsychologist who treated Sanderson following the collision, and Richard Boehme, a biomedical engineer who testified as an expert witness, were also played for the jury on Thursday. Boehme evaluated Sanderson in 2021 and testified that he believed the injuries Sanderson sustained to his ribs could have only been the result of being struck from behind.
In the court documents originally filed by Sanderson and obtained by CNN in 2019, Sanderson stated that while skiing at Deer Valley Resort, Paltrow allegedly “skied out of control … knocking him down hard, knocking him out, and causing a brain injury, and four broken ribs and other serious injuries.”
According to Paltrow’s countersuit, she “was enjoying skiing with her family on vacation in Utah, when Plaintiff – who was uphill from Ms. Paltrow – plowed into her back. 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.”
Sanderson had initially sued Paltrow for $3.1 million dollars, but later amended his complaint and is now seeking more than $300,000 in damages, according to court documents.
Paltrow is seeking $1 in damages, plus attorneys’ fees.