Gwyneth Paltrow’s family are set to join her on the stand during her ski slope collision trial in Utah.
The Iron Man actress, 50, is alleged to have collided with Dr Terry Sanderson while at the Deer Valley Resort in Utah in February, 2016.
The retired optometrist, 76, is seeking $300,000 in damages, claiming that the accident caused him ‘permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement’.
In turn, she has denied all allegations against her, and is seeking $1 and for her legal fees to be covered.
The trial began on Tuesday at Park City District Court, where Paltrow’s attorney said that the court would be hearing from her family, including husband Brad Falchuk and her two children, 18-year-old Apple and Moses, 16, – who she shares with former partner Chris Martin.
During his opening arguments, Stephen Owens described Marvel star as a ‘conservative skier’, telling the jury that the trip to Deer Valley was ‘sentimental’, following the death of her dad in 2002.
‘So it was a sentimental issue because she had started getting back into skiing and she did it because she wanted her kids to learn like she had,’ he said, via People Magazine.
‘And [Falchuk] has kids the exact same age as Gwyneth’s daughter and son.
‘And this was really their first trip to sort of a have a mixed, see-if-this-might-work. So it was a special time and it was a lovely day.’
Mr Owens said of their ski party: ‘She, Brad, now her husband who you’re going to hear from, her daughter Apple, who you’re going to hear from, Moses, who you’re going to hear from.’
‘She’s skiing, enjoying herself and suddenly she sees two skis appear between her skis and a man comes up right behind her,’ he added. ‘They’re not going fast… [Sanderson] comes up almost body to body and starts groaning.
‘She doesn’t know what’s going on… she’s moving forward, they begin falling to the right and she’s feeling freaked out.’
In his own opening remarks, Lawrence Buhler – representing Sanderson – told the court that Paltrow’s behavior on the slopes had been ‘reckless’ on that day.
‘Distracted skiers cause crashes, defendant Gwyneth Paltrow knew that looking up the mountain and to the side while skiing down the mountain was dangerous,’ he began. ‘[She] was looking somewhere else blindly skiing down an mountain while looking up…[this] was reckless.’
He claimed that she turned to look at her children, and ‘as she turns her head back down, she screams and skis into the back of Terry Sanderson…they hit the ground hard and Ms Paltrow bounces off Terry.’
The court heard that the collision caused Sanderson’s body to ‘smash into the ground’, leaving him with ‘four broken ribs and a concussion’.
Mr Buhler said that Paltrow didn’t say anything after the collision, and ‘bolted’ down the mountain.
Sanderson brought the lawsuit against the Hollywood icon in January, 2019, nearly three years after the alleged incident occurred.
He claimed that she slammed into him while she was on a beginner run with a ski instructor, before skiing away, leaving him lying in the snow.
As well as this, he alleged that her instructor saw he was injured but did not help him.
A judge previously dismissed his hit-and-run claim for $3.1million and removed the Utah resort and the ski instructor from the lawsuit – meaning Paltrow is now the sole defendant.
However, she has denied all allegations and has argued that she was hit from behind by another skier, claiming that she suffered minor injuries.
The trial continues.
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