Man suing Gwyneth Paltrow to testify in Utah ski crash trial
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — The man suing Gwyneth Paltrow over a 2016 skiing collision at one of the most upscale resorts in North America is expected to take the stand Monday as the closely watched trial goes into its second week.
Attorneys said Friday that retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, 76, would likely testify first on Monday, before his attorneys rest and hand the Utah courtroom over to Paltrow's defense team to make their case. Paltrow's attorneys are expected to call her two children — Moses and Apple — and a ski instructor who was present the day of the collision.
Sanderson is suing Paltrow for more than $300,000, claiming she skied recklessly into him from behind on a beginner ski slope, breaking four of his ribs and causing head trauma that manifested as post-concussion syndrome after the crash. Paltrow has countersued for $1 and attorney fees, alleging Sanderson was at fault and veered into her from behind.
After Paltrow testified Friday that the collision began when Sanderson's skis zoomed between her legs, attorneys will likely question Sanderson on his recollections. Craig Ramon, the sole eyewitness of the crash, testified that he heard a loud scream and saw Paltrow hit Sanderson, causing his skis to fly up into the air before he plummeted down in a “spread eagle” position.
Attorneys will probably ask Sanderson about the post-concussion symptoms that medical experts and his doctors testified to last week. Paltrow's attorneys are also expected to ask about his references to the actor-turned-lifestyle influencer's fame and whether the lawsuit amounts to an attempt to exploit it.
Although the courtroom in Park City, Utah, was far from full throughout the first week of the trial, the case has emerged as the most closely watched celebrity trial since Johnny Depp took Amber Heard to court almost a year ago. Clips of attorney outbursts and Paltrow's Friday testimony have been cut and circulated widely on social media, while observers have debated the motivations on both sides to sustain the prolonged legal battle seven years after the collision.
The amount of money at stake for both sides pales in comparison to the typical legal costs of a multiyear lawsuit, private security detail and expert witness-heavy trial.