Terry Sanderson, Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski crash accuser, told his daughter ‘I’m famous’ after she allegedly shattered 4 of his ribs
Gwyneth Paltrow was in Utah court on Tuesday for opening statements in a ski-crash lawsuit.
Terry Sanderson accused the actress of crashing into him at the Deer Valley Resort in 2016.
Paltrow countersued, saying it was Sanderson who crashed into her.
The retired optometrist suing Gwyneth Paltrow over a 2016 ski crash at Utah's Deer Valley Resort emailed his daughter hours after the crash, telling her "I'm famous," lawyers for both parties said during opening statements on Tuesday.
Terry Sanderson's lawyer, Lawrence Buhler, preemptively brought up the email in his opening statement to the jury that will decide the case in Utah's Third District Court, saying it would be used against his client to downplay the seriousness of his condition after the accident. But Buhler said the email is irrelevant and doesn't prove Sanderson didn't sustain a serious brain injury or four broken ribs, as he claims.
Sanderson sued the "Shakespeare in Love" star for negligence in 2019, alleging that Paltrow crashed into him while skiing a beginner slope at Deer Valley. His lawyer says there's evidence he suffered more than $3 million in damages from the injury.
Paltrow countersued, saying it was Sanderson who ran into her. In his opening statement Tuesday, Paltrow's attorney, Steve Owens, said she's asking for just $1 in damages.
Attorneys for Sanderson and Paltrow didn't immediately return Insider's request for comment.
In his opening statement, Sanderson's attorney said Paltrow was distracted, watching her children ski behind her the morning of February 26, 2016, when she ran into Sanderson from behind, taking him to the ground.
Buhler said Paltrow violated ski etiquette to give the skier in front of her, Sanderson, the right of way. He said this etiquette is "especially important" on a beginner run.
"She knew what she was doing was dangerous," Buhler said.
Instead of getting Sanderson help, Buhler says Paltrow "bolted" from the scene shortly afterward and that her son's ski instructor, Eric Christiansen, yelled at Sanderson.
Paltrow's attorney, Owens, disputed much of Sanderson's story in his opening statement Tuesday morning.
Owens said Paltrow is a conservative skier, who was making short turns on the right side of the trail when she suddenly heard a man groaning and his skis coming between her own. Paltrow says when they crashed to the ground, the man told her he didn't see her and that he was sorry, according to Owens.
Paltrow was "ticked off" after the crash and had some strong words for Sanderson, but she didn't "bolt" from the scene as Sanderson's lawyer claimed, Owens said. Instead, her ski instructor asked if Sanderson was OK, and Sanderson said he was and waived off help from ski patrol, Owens said.
Owens also raised questions about whether Sanderson's reported health issues actually stem from the crash at all, since he suffered a "stroke-like event" and lost vision in his right eye six years earlier.
Deer Valley Resort and Christiansen were initially listed as co-defendants in the lawsuit, accused alongside Paltrow for a claim of "negligent infliction of emotional distress." In his lawsuit, Sanderson said Christiansen lied in a report when he wrote that Paltrow had been the victim.
Last year, however, Third District Judge Kent Holmberg dismissed the emotional distress claim, dropping the resort and its ski instructor from the lawsuit. Holmberg wrote in his opinion that there was not enough evidence to bring the second claim to trial. An attorney who represented the resort and Christiansen did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Monday.
The case that's moving forward is over Sanderson and Paltrow's dueling claims of negligence for the actions that led to the crash itself. Paltrow is expected to testify.
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