Terry Sanderson, the retired optometrist who sued actor Gwyneth Paltrow over an alleged 2016 ski accident, regrets ever pursuing legal action.
After a jury in Utah determined Thursday that Paltrow, 50, was not liable for a ski crash that Sanderson claimed left him with a “permanent traumatic brain injury,” he commiserated his loss with reporters outside the courthouse.
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Sanderson, 76, called the trial a “character assassination,” as much of his medical history and the complicated relationships between him and his family was exposed during the livestreamed trial.
When asked directly if the lawsuit was “worth it,” Sanderson simply replied, “Absolutely not.”
As a result of the trial, Sanderson said he is “going to be on the internet forever.”
Sanderson filed the civil lawsuit against Paltrow in 2019 and claimed the crash caused “permanent traumatic brain injury, 4 broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life.” Throughout the trial, he maintained that Paltrow left him collapsed on the slope at Deer Valley Resort in Utah and skied away. He initially sued for US$3 million, though that was later reduced to more than US$300,000.
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Paltrow countersued with the claim that Sanderson was the one who skied into her from behind. Her legal team argued Sanderson sued only to capitalize on Paltrow’s celebrity and status.
The jury in Park City, Utah determined Sanderson was “100%” at fault for the ski collision. Paltrow was awarded $1 in symbolic damages and reimbursement for her legal fees.
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Sanderson told reporters it is difficult to sue a celebrity because of the “resources available to them.”
Still, he praised Paltrow for her decorum and said she approached him before leaving the courtroom and said, “I wish you well.” Sanderson said he replied, “Thank you, dear.”
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In a statement to ET Canada, Robert B. Sykes, Esq., the law firm representing Sanderson, said they and their client “are all exhausted and need a rest.”
The statement requested privacy for Sanderson.
“As Mr. Sanderson’s attorneys, we are considering all options. This includes a possible Motion for a New Trial, an appeal to the Utah Supreme Court, and other legal options,” the statement reads. “These options will be thoroughly explored between the attorneys and Terry Sanderson at a later date.”
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