A jury of eight will decide whether Gwyneth Paltrow is responsible for a 2016 Utah ski crash with a retired optometrist as lawyers finished their closing statements on Thursday after eight days of testimony.
The case was brought by plaintiff Terry Sanderson, 76, who claims the “Shakespeare in Love” actress crashed into him on the slopes and left him with broken ribs and permanent brain damage.
In closing arguments, a lawyer for the ailing doc said Sanderson expected a “fun day of skiing” but instead he “never returned home that night as the same Terry.”
“Part of Terry will forever be on the bandana run,” attorney Robert Sykes said, referring to the slope where the ski debacle took place.
Sanderson wants hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Feb. 26, 2016 crash, which he testified has led to his mental decline and significant loss in quality of life.
Paltrow, 50, said she sympathizes with Sanderson’s plight but isn’t to blame; the Academy Award-winning actress insists the Utah doctor was the one who crashed into her at Deer Valley Resort in Park City. She countersued for a mere $1 and is asking the jury at Utah’s Third District Court to order Sanderson to pay her likely exorbitant legal fees.
Sykes told the eight jurors and two alternatives that “Gwyneth Paltrow is not a liar” and has a “sincere belief” she didn’t cause the accident — but she still is to blame.
“The problem is a sincere belief doesn’t make it so,” he said.
Paltrow’s lawyers meanwhile used their time to reiterate their belief that the “Goop” founder was a victim of the crash — and a man riddled with pre-existing medical issues seeking his fifteen minutes of fame.
“Preexisting conditions, oh my gosh, how do we not talk about what was going on right before versus what’s happened after?” attorney Stephen Owens said.
“He’s 76 I mean, my parents — I’m not being flippant — they were dead by then.
“They certainly weren’t taking 10 trips around the world,” he said, referencing Sanderson’s multiple international trips since the crash.
“This is a meritless claim,” Owens added, saying his client “could’ve just paid the ransom” but refused to give into Sanderson.