Gwyneth Paltrow ski crash accuser asks for US3.2 million
LOS ANGELES: Lawyers for the man suing Gwyneth Paltrow over an accident on a swanky US ski slope said Thursday the actress should give him almost US$3.3 million for his suffering.
Terry Sanderson, a 76-year-old retired optometrist, claims the 2016 collision in Utah left him with four broken ribs and lasting psychological damage.
Presenting their closing arguments at a court in Park City, attorneys said Sanderson needed to be fairly compensated for a permanent brain injury that had changed his personality and affected his enjoyment of life.
“These are golden years,” Lawrence Buhler told the civil jury.
“These are the most valuable years when you can enjoy your retirement and actually do things like travel.
“He could sit around and mope around and be an obvious brain injury victim but no, Terry doesn’t want to be brain injured. He wants to live life to its fullest.
“He’s got this issue that a big part of him was left up on that … ski run.”
Buhler said the jury should consider awarding his client US$33 for every waking hour since the incident until his death, which he said might come in 10 years.
That amounts to “US$3,276,000 for the 17 years that Terry has to deal with this permanent brain injury.”
Sanderson launched his lawsuit against the “Shakespeare in Love” actress in 2019.
Paltrow has in turn countersued, for a symbolic US$1, plus legal expenses.
At issue is who skied into whom.
Sanderson claims she hit him in the back.
The actress told the trial last week that Sanderson had ploughed into the back of her.
“He hit her. He hurt her,” Paltrow’s lawyer, Stephen Owens, said Thursday.
“And then he asked her for US$3 million for the pleasure. That is not fair.
“The easy thing for my client would have been to write a check and be done with it. But what does that tell her kids?
“That’s just the cost of business. No, it’s wrong, it’s actually wrong. He hurt her, and he wants money from her.”
The more-than week-long trial heard detailed evidence about Sanderson’s health, including about several pre-existing conditions.
It also heard from his family, who at times described a man who could be difficult before the accident.
At the start of the case, Owens said Sanderson is “obsessed” with the lawsuit, and that the case was a “meritless claim of false allegation.”
In addition to her Oscar-winning acting career, Paltrow has forged a second career marketing wellness products on her Goop website.