Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has emerged victorious in a legal battle that lasted 7 years over a skiing collision with a 70-year-old man in Utah. A jury in the Park City District Court rejected the plaintiff’s claim for damages against Paltrow, concluding that she was not responsible for the collision that occurred on a ski slope. Terry Sanderson, the retired optometrist who had filed the lawsuit seeking more than $300,000 in damages, claimed that Paltrow had been skiing out of control when she crashed into him, causing him to suffer broken ribs and a concussion.
Paltrow, who had denied the allegations and had filed a symbolic counterclaim seeking only $1 in damages and attorney’s fees, expressed her relief and gratitude in a statement following the verdict. “I have always maintained that the allegations against me were false and the verdict validates that,” said the actress. Her legal team had argued that the collision was an accident and that Sanderson had failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid the crash.
The case had attracted widespread media attention, with some commentators accusing Paltrow of trying to evade responsibility and portraying the lawsuit as an example of the legal system being abused for personal gain. Paltrow’s lawyers, however, argued that the case was about defending their client’s reputation and preventing frivolous lawsuits from being filed. In their closing argument, Paltrow’s legal team had urged the jury to reject the plaintiff’s claim and send a message that the legal system should not be used to harass or intimidate celebrities.
The legal battle had been protracted and contentious, with Sanderson initially seeking $3.1 million in damages before revising his claim to $300,000. Paltrow’s lawyers had accused him of trying to extract a large settlement by making false allegations against the actress. Sanderson, for his part, had accused Paltrow of callous and reckless behavior and claimed that he had suffered physical and emotional harm as a result of the collision.
In the end, the jury sided with Paltrow, ruling that she had not acted negligently and had no liability for Sanderson’s injuries. The verdict brings to an end a long and bitter legal battle that has left both sides bruised and exhausted. Paltrow’s lawyers hailed the decision as a victory for justice and common sense, while Sanderson’s legal team expressed disappointment and frustration with the outcome.