Gwyneth Paltrow ski crash trial: What happens if she loses? Can she go to jail?
Terry Sanderson, 76, accused Gwyneth Paltrow of crashing into him while skilling in 2016. What penalties could the actress be forced to pay?
Over the last week, many have followed the developments of a civil lawsuit between actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Terry Sanderson, a 76-year-old doctor who accused the Goop owner of “forcefully” knocking him down during a ski accident. Sanderson claims that Paltro left him “unconscious” and did not bother to offer assistance, and in 2019 filed the suit.
The accident took place in Colorado in 2016, and Sanderson claims that the actress left him with “a permanent traumatic brain injury, left four broken ribs, pain, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement.” However, Paltrow has maintained that she was the victim of Sanderson’s negligence and that it was she who was hit from behind by him. The conflicting reports have created significant pressure for both legal teams to provide as much evidence as possible to both prove the claims of the client and disprove those of the opposing side.
Civil versus criminal court cases
Initially, he demanded $3.1 million, but his claims have been reduced as the judicial investigation progressed, and now he is asking for $300,000. The lawsuit is a civil, not criminal, case, meaning that even if Paltrow is found to be at fault, she will not face jail time.
Paltrow’s testimony in court
Paltrow has maintained that she is not at fault and that the case is an attempt by the doctor to exploit her fame and wealth. During her testimony last week, Paltrow recalled her memory in which she stated that she was on the beginner slopes when “two skis came between my skis, forcing my legs apart and then there was a body pressing against me and there was a very strange grunting noise.” Initally, the actress had thought that someone was playing a “practical joke.”
“My brain was trying to make sense of what was happening. I thought, ‘Is this a practical joke? Is someone doing something perverted? This is really, really strange,” said Paltrow on the stand.
This week the court will hear from Dr. Sanderson, who is expected to tell a very different story. Additionally, the court may hear from Paltrow’s children, who were skiing with her that day.