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Jury deliberates as Paltrow’s ski collision trial ends

A jury is deliberating in a trial focused on a 2016 ski collision between Gwyneth Paltrow and a 76-year-old man suing her.

March 31, 2023
31 March 2023

A jury has begun deliberating in Gwyneth Paltrow’s trial over a 2016 ski collision at a Utah resort.

Lawyers for Paltrow and the man suing her described their clients in closing arguments as aggrieved victims participating in a years-long legal battle to take a stand for truth. 

The eight-person jury is tasked with weighing duelling versions of who was the downhill skier, making the other culpable according to a skier responsibility code.

During closing arguments on Thursday, Paltrow’s lawyers asked jurors to disregard the opposing side’s emotional pleas for sympathy of Terry Sanderson over the state of his relationships. 

The retired optometrist has said the collision left him with a concussion and four broken ribs. 

Paltrow’s legal team said that for their client, it would have been easier to simply write a cheque, settle the lawsuit and put the crash behind her.

“But what would that teach her children?” lawyer Steve Owens asked jurors.

Accompanying his remarks were high-resolution animations depicting Paltrow’s version of events, which have been shown throughout the trial in the Park City courtroom.

“It’s not about the money. It’s about ruining a very delicate time in a relationship where they were trying to get their kids together,” Owens said.

The 2016 family trip to Deer Valley Resort was the first time Paltrow and her then-boyfriend Brad Falchuk brought their children together in an effort to join families.

During closing arguments, Paltrow, Sanderson and members of the jury all nodded along as lawyers repeated familiar narratives, denounced some witnesses’ claims and elevated others.

Sanderson, 76, is suing Paltrow over the events of that trip, claiming she skied out of control and crashed into him, leaving him with four broken ribs and a concussion with symptoms that have lasted years beyond the collision.

After a judge dismissed his initial $US3.1 million ($A4.6 million) complaint, Sanderson amended and refiled the lawsuit seeking “more than $US300,000” ($A447,340) – a threshold that provides the opportunity to introduce the most evidence and depose the most witnesses allowed in civil court. 

In closing arguments, his lawyers estimated damages as more than $US3.2 million ($A4.8 million).

Paltrow has countersued for a symbolic $US1 ($A1.50) and lawyer fees, although her lawyers said in closing arguments that the crash had damaged her far more.

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