The jury sided with Gwyneth Paltrow in the civil trial over a 2016 ski crash involving her and Terry Sanderson, a retired optometrist.
The jury unanimously found Sanderson 100% at fault in the ski crash after just over two and a half hours of deliberation. They awarded Paltrow $1 in damages.
"I felt that acquiescing to a false claim compromised my integrity," Paltrow said in a statement. "I am pleased with the outcome and I appreciate all of the hard work of Judge Holmberg and the jury, and thank them for their thoughtfulness in handling this case."
Paltrow's attorney, Steve Owens, said in a statement, "We are pleased with this unanimous outcome and appreciate the judge and jury's thoughtful handling of the case. Gwyneth has a history of advocating for what she believes in -- this situation was no different and she will continue to stand up for what is right."
The civil trial centered on a ski accident involving Paltrow and Sanderson that occurred on Feb. 26, 2016, at Deer Valley Ski Resort in Utah.
The trial began on March 21 and both sides rested on March 30, handing the case over to the jury for deliberation.
Sanderson's original complaint, filed in January 2019, accused Paltrow of having "skied out of control" into Sanderson and "knocking him down hard, knocking him out, and causing a brain injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries."
In an amended complaint, filed the following month, Sanderson changed the value of damages he sought in the lawsuit from $3.1 million to $300,000.
- 3March 24, 2023
Paltrow filed a countersuit in February 2019 in which she claimed it was Sanderson who "plowed into her back," delivering a "full 'body blow'" and leaving her "shaken and upset." Ultimately, she said she sustained "relatively minor" injuries.
The award-winning actress and Goop CEO called the lawsuit against her an "attempt to exploit her celebrity and wealth" in her countersuit. She sought "symbolic damages" of $1 "plus her costs and attorneys' fees" for defending herself against "this meritless claim."
Throughout the trial, the jury heard both Paltrow's and Sanderson's accounts of the accident, with each party accusing the other of being the cause of the ski crash.
In his testimony, Sanderson claimed he was downhill while Paltrow was uphill, saying, "There was nothing in front of me." He recalled hearing a "blood-curdling scream" before he said he "got hit in my back so hard." The next thing he remembered, he said, was that "everything [was] black."
"I tried to move, and I could not move a limb. I couldn't move my head. I couldn't move my body," he said. "Nothing was responding."
As a result of the accident, Sanderson said he now speaks "upside-down and backward." He also said he doesn't feel "as engaged" in activities and doesn't "have that same spark" as he did prior, calling himself a "self-imposed recluse."
In her testimony, Paltrow claimed she was skiing with her two children, daughter Apple and son Moses, and her husband Brad Falchuk, her then-boyfriend, when "Mr. Sanderson skied directly into my back." She said she was "extremely upset" in the aftermath of the crash.
When asked by Sanderson's attorney if she feels "some sympathy for Mr. Sanderson's declining brain," she said, "I really do. I feel sorry for him. It seems like he's had a very difficult life."
"But I did not cause the accident," she said. "So I cannot be at fault for anything that subsequently happened to him."
Elsewhere in the trial, the jury heard from various experts, two of Sanderson's daughters, Sanderson's ex-girlfriend, a person Sanderson's attorneys claim is the sole witness to the crash, a ski expert, Deer Valley employees and more.
Depositions from Paltrow's two children were also read in court.