Gwyneth Paltrow Lawsuit: Key Details and Context Unveiled

Gwyneth Paltrow, the famous Hollywood actress and entrepreneur, found herself entangled in a legal battle over a ski collision that occurred in 2016. Terry Sanderson, a retired optometrist, filed a lawsuit against Paltrow alleging that she was skiing “out of control” when she hit him from behind, knocked him down, and then landed on top of him. The case garnered significant attention due to the high-profile nature of the individuals involved and the unique circumstances surrounding the incident.

The trial took place in Utah, where the ski collision happened, and concluded in March 2023. Throughout the proceedings, Paltrow maintained her innocence and insisted that she was not at fault for the crash. After only a little more than two hours of deliberation, the jury unanimously decided that Paltrow was not responsible for the incident and awarded her $1 in damages.

This outcome came as a disappointment for Sanderson, who later stated that taking Paltrow to court had “absolutely not” been worth it. Despite the unfavorable result for Sanderson, it appears that the two parties have managed to reach a resolution on good terms, concluding a highly publicized legal saga.

Background Information

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow is a well-known American actress, entrepreneur, and celebrity. She achieved widespread fame and recognition for her roles in various Hollywood movies, while also establishing a successful lifestyle brand.

Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson is a retired optometrist from Utah who filed a lawsuit against Gwyneth Paltrow after a skiing incident that took place in 2016. He alleged that the collision caused him serious injuries and sued for $300,000 in damages initially.

Skiing Incident

In February 2016, Gwyneth Paltrow and Terry Sanderson were both skiing at the Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. Sanderson claimed that Paltrow crashed into him and left the scene without taking responsibility for the accident or ensuring his wellbeing.

In response to Sanderson’s lawsuit, Paltrow denied any wrongdoing, stating that it was Sanderson who collided with her on the ski slope. The case went to trial in 2023, where the jury ultimately sided with Paltrow. The Utah jury unanimously decided that Paltrow was not at fault and awarded her $1 in damages.

Throughout the trial, the focus remained on the sequence of events during the skiing incident at the Deer Valley Resort. The incident drew significant attention and media coverage, primarily due to Paltrow’s celebrity status and the legal battle that ensued.

Details of the Lawsuit

Initial Filing

In January 2019, Terry Sanderson filed a lawsuit against Gwyneth Paltrow, claiming that the actress was skiing “out of control” when she collided with him, resulting in injuries. Sanderson sought $300,000 in damages for the injuries he sustained during the crash. The collision reportedly took place in 2016 at a ski resort in Utah, and the trial began in 2023.

Gwyneth’s Countersuit

In response to Sanderson’s lawsuit, Gwyneth Paltrow countersued for $1, denying the charges brought forth by Sanderson. Paltrow’s legal team argued that she was not the one at fault for the collision, and the countersuit aimed to prove her innocence. Judge Holmberg presided over the case, which garnered significant attention from both the media and the public.

Trial Process

Throughout the trial, both parties presented evidence in the form of testimony from witnesses, expert analysis, and courtroom statements. Paltrow’s attorney, Steve Owens, and Sanderson’s attorney, Robert Sykes, examined the details of the collision and focused on the legal aspects of negligence, downhill skier rules, and liability in the courtroom. At the end of the trial, the jury sided with Gwyneth Paltrow, finding her not liable for the ski collision.

Stemming from the verdict, Paltrow was awarded the $1 in damages she sought through her countersuit, while Sanderson bore legal costs and had to cover Paltrow’s legal fees. Despite the contentious nature of the trial, post-verdict statements suggest the two parties have now reached amicable terms.

Injury Claims and Counterclaims

In this lawsuit surrounding Gwyneth Paltrow, there have been various claims and counterclaims between the involved parties. This section will explore the main points of contention, particularly focusing on the claims made by the retired optometrist, Terry Sanderson, and the defense put forth by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Sanderson’s Claims

Terry Sanderson, a retired optometrist, accused Gwyneth Paltrow of causing a ski collision back in 2016 at Utah’s Deer Valley Resort. Sanderson claimed in his lawsuit that the actress slammed into him from behind, resulting in serious injuries. Some of the injuries he listed in his suit include:

  • Broken ribs: Sanderson asserted that the force of the collision caused him to sustain broken ribs.
  • Traumatic brain injury: He also stated that he suffered from a traumatic brain injury due to the impact.
  • Concussion: Sanderson mentioned experiencing a concussion as a result of the crash.
  • Other health issues: Additionally, the retired optometrist cited various cognitive function impairments and ongoing health issues caused by the accident.

To support his claims, Sanderson sought the testimony of medical experts who could attest to the extent and validity of his injuries. These experts testified on the severity of Sanderson’s brain damage and the impact it had on his daily life.

Paltrow’s Defense

Gwyneth Paltrow and her legal team refuted Sanderson’s claims. In their defense, they presented several points:

  • Denial of responsibility: Paltrow denied being the one who caused the collision, asserting that she was not at fault for the incident.
  • Counterclaim of Sanderson’s negligence: The defense argued that Sanderson was actually the one at fault for the crash.
  • Questioning the severity of injuries: Paltrow’s legal team questioned the claimed severity of Sanderson’s brain injury and the impact of the alleged incident on his cognitive functions.

During the trial, the jury heard testimonies from both parties, medical experts, and witnesses to determine the culpability in the case. Ultimately, the jury sided with Gwyneth Paltrow and found Sanderson 100% at fault, awarding her only $1 in damages.

Evidence and Witnesses

Video Evidence

In the Gwyneth Paltrow lawsuit, video evidence plays an essential role. A GoPro camera recording from the day of the incident captured the ski collision at Deer Slope Resort in Utah, which took place in February 2016. The footage is being carefully scrutinized by both parties as they attempt to establish responsibility for the accident. This visual evidence could provide critical insights into who may have been at fault during the collision.

Eye Witnesses

Apart from the video evidence, several eye-witness accounts can offer valuable information to the case. One key witness, Craig Ramon, shed light on the ski collision during the trial. His testimony has significant bearing on the case as he describes events that unfolded during the incident. Ramon has firsthand knowledge of the collision due to his proximity to the scene, making his observations vital to the proceedings.

In addition to Ramon, other witnesses have also been questioned in the trial. These testimonies, together with other available evidence, contribute to a clearer understanding of the events surrounding the ski crash, helping the jury make an informed decision.

Outcome and Aftermath


The Utah jury found Terry Sanderson, the retired optometrist, to be entirely at fault for the ski accident involving Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow, the Oscar-winning actor known for her roles in films like “Shakespeare in Love,” was awarded symbolic damages of $1.

Impact on Parties

The outcome of this case has had varying impacts on the parties involved. Gwyneth Paltrow, who is also the founder of the wellness brand Goop, maintained her stance that she was not responsible for the collision. The verdict supported her claim and helped clear her name.

Terry Sanderson, on the other hand, faced disappointment after the jury unanimously decided that he was responsible for the incident. Although he accused Paltrow of lying about the events and skiing “out of control,” the jury’s decision indicated that they did not find his testimony to be credible.

The ski instructor and other skiers present at the time of the accident were also impacted by the trial. It was suggested that the instructor was part of an alleged “cover-up” to protect Paltrow. However, the verdict suggests that there was no assault or nefarious actions by the instructor or other skiers during the incident.

While the damages awarded to Paltrow were merely symbolic, it can be inferred that the purpose of the lawsuit was more about clearing her name and protecting her reputation, rather than monetary compensation. Paltrow’s children, Apple Martin and Moses Martin, were also indirectly affected by the trial, as their mother’s reputation was called into question.

Ultimately, the verdict served to vindicate Paltrow and brought closure to the ski accident case that had been ongoing for several years.

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