A 76-year-old man claims he suffered a brain injury following a collision with Gwyneth Paltrow on the ski slopes in Utah
Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow went on trial in a US civil court on Tuesday, where she is accused of causing serious injury to a retired optometrist in a collision on a Utah ski slope in 2016.
Terry Sanderson, 76, claims Paltrow crashed into him at the upmarket Deer Valley resort in Park City, Utah several years ago, after which she and her entourage abandoned him as they continued down the mountain.
"Gwyneth Paltrow skied out of control," Sanderson's attorneys claim in the lawsuit. They are seeking $300,000 in damages for "knocking him down hard, knocking him out, and causing a brain injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries."
The lawsuit alleges that Paltrow, famous for roles in films like 'Shakespeare In Love', 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and the Iron Man series, "got up, turned and skied away, leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, seriously injured."
Sanderson also alleges that Deer Valley and some of its employees engaged in a de facto cover-up by not supplying his legal team with sufficient and complete information on internal reports it conducted about the accident, as well as failing to adequately follow safety principles. Sanderson had initially sued for a total of $3.1 million before dropping the demand to $300,000.
It was also claimed that Paltrow's ski instructor had witnessed the accident and offered no help to the injured party. Sanderson stated that he waited three years to file legal proceedings because he was dealing with prolonged symptoms of concussion as a result of the accident, while also experiencing problems with his legal team.
Paltrow, meanwhile, has countersued for attorney's fees and is seeking "symbolic damages" of $1. Her counterclaim states a belief that Sanderson was at fault for the crash, in which she says he hit her with a "full body blow." She also accuses him of exaggerating the extent of his injuries, and alleges that the lawsuit is an attempt to take advantage of her fame and wealth.
The civil trial - at which Paltrow is expected to testify - is scheduled to last for eight days.