More witnesses were expected to testify on Wednesday in a trial about a 2016 ski crash between Gwyneth Paltrow and the retired Utah man who sued her, claiming her recklessness left him with lasting injuries and brain damage.
On the opening day of the trial, Paltrow and retired optometrist Terry Sanderson appeared across the courtroom from each other, looking nonplussed to hear arguments that have become familiar over the past seven years of legal proceedings.
Since Paltrow and Sanderson’s crash, the two have been tangled in a legal drama about what really happened on a beginner’s run that day at one of the most upscale US ski resorts.
Deer Valley Resort has some of the region’s most expensive lift tickets and is known for its après-ski champagne yurts and proximity to Park City – a posh town known for hosting the Sundance film festival.
Though the court is not publishing a witness list, attorneys said Wendell Gibby and Sam Goldstein, a radiologist and neuropsychologist, would probably be called to testify on Wednesday.
Sanderson’s lawyers said they expected to call four witnesses total on Wednesday and left open the possibility one could be Paltrow, depending on when others expected to testify arrive in Park City.
Gibby and Goldstein have appeared as expert witnesses for Sanderson, who has said he broke ribs and sustained brain damage from the crash. Attorneys have argued over whether Sanderson’s problems stemmed from the crash or are merely byproducts of ageing.
Both parties blame the other for the collision and claim they were crashed into from behind, relying on a little-known Utah law stipulating that whoever is downhill has the right of way when skiing and snowboarding.
Paltrow’s attorneys have asked the judge, Kent Holmberg, to enact special restrictions throughout the actor turned wellness tycoon’s trial. Paltrow has used a blue notebook to shield her face from view when entering and exiting the courtroom.
Paltrow’s attorneys called Sanderson’s story “utter BS”, building off earlier claims from court filings and previous depositions where they accused him of suing to exploit the wealth and celebrity of the Oscar-winning star of films including Shakespeare in Love.
Sanderson’s attorneys have attempted to paint Paltrow as a negligent celebrity with little care for the injuries inflicted upon the 76-year-old military veteran.
They called Sanderson’s ex-girlfriend and a ski companion who was nearby during the crash to testify on Tuesday.
Karlene Davidson said the crash “changed” Sanderson and contributed to the demise of their romance. Craig Ramon testified that Paltrow hit Sanderson and said one of her family’s ski instructors came up to him and said: “Your buddy just took out Gwyneth Paltrow.”
The trial follows Sanderson’s decision to amend an earlier lawsuit after a $3.1m complaint that named Paltrow and Deer Valley was dismissed. Paltrow filed a counterclaim.
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