Gwyneth Paltrow, her husband Brad Falchuk and children Apple, 18, and Moses, 16, are set to testify during her trial over a 2016 ski crash, her lawyer said in court on Tuesday.
During his opening argument, attorney Stephen Owens said all three would take to the stand and said Paltrow was left ‘freaked out’ by the crash that allegedly left optometrist Terry Sanderson, 72, with a permanent brain injury.
Sanderson has said Paltrow crashed into him but Owens described how Sanderson’s skis appeared between her feet before the pair tumbled to the ground.
Of Sanderson’s claim – that Paltrow had crashed into him leaving him badly injured – Owens added: ‘We think this is BS.’
Owens claimed that once Sanderson realized who he had hit, he flagged down Ski Patrol, telling them he was hurt badly enough to need help to get off the mountain.
For the opening day of the trial, Gwyneth Paltrow wore a cream roll neck sweater and pale wide-leg pants
Paltrow, her husband Brad Falchuk and children Apple, 18, and Moses, 16, are set to testify during her 2016 ski crash trial
Dr. Terry Sanderson, who was seen entering court today with a face mask on, sought damages in excess of $3.1 million after the accident left him with a ‘permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement’
The actress was seen stepping out of a black SUV and bundled up in a long coat and shades, keeping her head down as she walked into Park City District Court on Tuesday
Owens also told the jury that Sanderson had suffered from brain issues prior to the accident and said Paltrow has ‘sentimental feelings’ about skiing due to ski trips with her dad as a child and before he died.
He showed the court a photo of Paltrow with son Moses on the day of the crash and told how it was a special trip made to give her children the chance to learn how to ski.
Terry Sanderson (pictured) filed a lawsuit in January 2019 in Utah claiming that Gwyneth Paltrow broke four of his ribs and left him with brain damage after a ski crash
Owens claimed Sanderson had been cutting across the mountain making a wide turn and had had his back turned when he hit her.
He also noted that Sanderson had said Paltrow appeared directly in front of him just before the crash and had told Paltrow’s ski instructor he was okay.
According to Owens, Paltrow was on the ground yelling ‘what the F’ at Sanderson immediately after the crash which was seen and heard by Moses – who later said he had never seen his mom so upset. Owens also ridiculed the idea that the crash was a ‘hit and run’ – saying Paltrow had instead skied down the mountain to meet Falchuk after being told she could leave by ski instructor Eric Christensen and Ski Patrol.
While on the toboggan being taken off the mountain, Sanderson posted a happy photo on social media and was able to converse with his ski buddy Greg Ramone, according to Owens.
He also claimed Sanderson showed no confusion when he was taken to Instacare and said he had suffered a stroke six years earlier which accounted for injuries that appeared on a CT scan taken after the crash.
Owens then showed the jury an email sent by Sanderson to his daughters Jenny, Polly and Shae that included a link to a Facebook status that said ‘I’m famous!’
It also referred to a GoPro that allegedly caught the crash on camera but which Owens says has never been found.
He finished his argument by holding up a dollar bill and saying: ‘Gwyneth was hurt by his [Sanderson] negligence. She’s hurt, she’s sore, it rattled her.’
Owens added: ‘Apple was waiting at the bottom of the mountain and said, what happened? She said ‘some a**hole ran into me’. She was upset. She was upset over lunch and she said she didn’t want to ski again that day.
‘She came for a family vacation and half of that afternoon was ruined. So that dollar is important to us. It’s important to my client.’
DailyMail.com caught up with Sanderson during a short recess on Tuesday. When asked if he was feeling confident about the trial outcome, Sanderson told DailyMail.com that he was.
For the opening day of the trial, the actress wore a cream roll neck sweater and pale wide-leg pants, and made her way into court without speaking to media.
While waiting for the jury to file in, Paltrow sat quietly facing Judge Kent Holmberg’s seat and conferred briefly with her legal team.
Paltrow, who was also wearing a pair of large 70s-style reading glasses, bent intently over her notes while Judge Holmberg read out a lengthy list of jury instructions.
Paltrow arrived at court in Utah for the trial over a 2016 ‘hit-and-run’ ski accident
Paltrow in a social media post the year before the accident at Deer Valley resort in Utah. She captioned the post: ’20 years later and I still got it #justlikeridingabike’
The trial over the incident at Deer Valley Resort begins today at Park City District Court
Lawrence Buhler, the lead attorney for Sanderson, opened the trial by telling the jury: ‘Distracted skiers cause crashes. Defendant Gwyneth Paltrow knew that looking up the mountain and up to the side was dangerous.
‘She knew that if she continued to ski that way, if she kept looking up to the side, someone would get seriously hurt. She knew what she was doing was dangerous and she knew it was reckless.’
He added that his client suffered four broken ribs and permanent brain damage following the smash before going on to outline the rules of skiing, including that those taking part in the sport should always yield the right of way to those below and keep their eyes forward.
During the opening statement, Buhler told the jury that Paltrow had been skiing with nine people, including her husband Brad Falchuk and their children on the day of the crash.
With the group on Bandana Mountain were four ski instructors – among them Paltrow’s co-defendant Eric Christiansen.
Meanwhile, Sanderson was there with a meet-up group that included a man named Greg Ramone, who Buhler said is the only witness to the crash.
He added: ‘At the top of Bandana – one of Ms. Paltrow’s children says, ”mommy, mommy, watch me ski!” They go to the left. Gwyneth Paltrow goes to the right.
‘She looks up to see her children and as she looks down, she screams. She skis into the back of Terry Sanderson.
‘Sanderson is face down in the snow unconscious.’
According to Buhler, Ramone saw the crash and its aftermath – with Christiansen skiing over to the prone Sanderson and repeatedly screaming ‘what did you do?’
He said Ramone had asked Paltrow if she was OK but was ignored, with the actress then sliding ‘a few feet away’.
Buhler said Sanderson then groaned and complained of pain in his ribs – after which a silent Paltrow took off down the mountain.
Sanderson was allegedly so disoriented by the crash, he didn’t know where he was when asked by Ramone and had to be carried off the mountain by Ski Patrol.
He was later taken to an Instacare center in Park City and was told to go to ER the following day.
Responding to Buhler, Paltrow’s attorney Stephen Owens began his argument by showing the jury a picture of Lady Justice and reminding them that they are not allowed to award anyone anything because they feel sorry for them.
As he spoke, Paltrow looked on intently and nodded as he told the jury that ski accidents are not the same as car collisions; and added that skiing is dangerous ‘because you’re going down a very snowy and icy hill.’
He sought damages in excess of $3.1 million after the accident but a judge dismissed his original claim of hit-and-run and it is now a $300,000 claim against Paltrow
A sign directing skiers to the Bandana trail where the incident happened
Sanderson sought damages in excess of $3.1 million after the accident left him with a ‘permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement’.
A judge dismissed Sanderson’s original claim of hit-and-run and the Utah Resort and Paltrow’s instructor were removed from the lawsuit and it is now a $300,000 claim solely against the actress.
Paltrow is countersuing for ‘symbolic damages’ of $1 plus her legal fees.
She accused Sanderson of trying to ‘exploit her celebrity and wealth’ with the accident in which she sustained a full-body blow when he collided with her.
Paltrow told Sanderson she was angry with him and he apologized to her but she was left ‘shaken and upset’ by the incident and stopped skiing that day, the lawsuit states.
‘I heard this hysterical scream and instantaneous I got hit in the back,’ Sanderson said at a press conference when he originally filed the lawsuit in 2019.
‘It was just instantaneous, I got hit in my back. It felt like it had just drove me forward.’
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