Gwyneth Paltrow’s Ski Accident in Utah: Actress Ready to Take a Stand in $300,000 Civil Case
Gwyneth Paltrow is set to speak in a civil case involving a skiing accident in 2016, a source confirmed to Fox News Digital.
Paltrow has been sued for $300,000 by a retired optometrist, who claims the actress rammed him from behind at the Deer Valley station.
Terry Sanderson accused the Goop founder of skiing after the accident – which left him with “a permanent traumatic brain injury, 4 broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life”, as well as emotional distress and disfigurement, according to the lawsuit. obtained by Fox News Digital.
“Paltrow got up, turned and skied off, leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, badly injured,” according to the complaint filed in 2019. “A Deer Valley ski instructor, who had coached Ms. Paltrow, but who didn’t see the accident, skied over it, saw Sanderson injured and skied, falsely accusing Sanderson of causing the accident.”
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A judge dismissed Sanderson’s original hit-and-run complaint, and the Deer Valley Resort and the instructor were removed from the lawsuit.
Paltrow maintained that Sanderson had in fact skied into her and claims she stayed until Deer Valley Resort’s ski instructor gave her permission to leave. The 50-year-old actress also said Sanderson had previously admitted he had no clear memory of the accident.
She filed a countersuit, asking for $1 in nominal damages and her attorney’s fees to cover.
Paltow’s trial will begin on March 21.
Deer Valley Resort’s safety policies instruct skiers to “stop at the scene and provide reasonable assistance” if involved in a collision on the slopes. The law requires skiers who have suffered a collision to give their name and permanent address to a resort employee before leaving the scene, according to Deer Valley Resort.
Other suggestions include notifying resort staff and helping to direct other skiers away from the area of the incident.
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A legal expert has explained what a jury would have to decide for a judge to decide Paltrow was negligent in the 2016 crash.
“It’s actually very vague. It just means that a person hasn’t done their due diligence,” attorney Tyler Brown of Nuttall, Brown and Coutts told Fox News Digital. “We all have a duty to exercise due diligence to avoid harming others. And that is very simply defined as what a reasonably prudent person would do in a similar situation.”
Brown, who has handled ski accident lawsuits in the past but is not involved in the current Paltrow lawsuit, noted that these negligence cases are typically situational.
“Ordinary circumstances don’t necessarily require extraordinary caution. Skiing is a fairly ordinary recreational activity,” he explained. “So it’s not like because they were skiing, they have this hugely heightened duty of care, but it might involve a little more care than just a business as usual.”
In a civil action, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof. Sanderson’s legal team will likely struggle to convince a jury that Paltrow was wrong, according to Brown.
“The person who makes that claim is going to have their work cut out because…they have to establish and convince a jury that they were truly acting unreasonably,” he said. “And that’s going to be really hard to do if we don’t even know what happened.”
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The burden of proof does not stop there. Sanderson is also charged with proving that the skiing accident directly caused his injuries.
“They have to prove that they suffered harm. They have to prove the legitimacy of their medical claims, the amount of their medical bills, any lost wages due to missing work,” Brown explained. “And they have to prove that those injuries were in fact caused by this accident and not by a pre-existing condition or by, you know, maybe they got home and slipped on the ice in the parking lot.”
As for why this case is going to trial, Paltrow may be looking to repair his reputation, according to celebrity attorney Duncan Levin.
“It takes two to settle, and we don’t really know who is pushing this to trial, but from all we know, Paltrow is well within his rights to fight to the end,” the official said. lawyer, who represented Harvey Weinstein, Clare Bronfman and Anna Delvey, among others, told Fox News Digital.
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“For Paltrow, it’s not about the money, of which she has plenty. It’s about fixing her reputation and fending off someone who she believes is making a false claim to gain access to her deep pockets,” he added. “She’s much more focused on the court of public opinion than Utah’s.”
Levin, who doesn’t currently represent Paltrow, noted that it wasn’t always a celebrity settlement.
“High-level defendants are often rightly more concerned with vindicating and defending against frivolous lawsuits than quickly settling what they believe to be a baseless case.”
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