The man who claims he met Gwyneth Paltrow on a ski slope seven years ago took the stand Monday, after the Hollywood star and lifestyle influencer testified in what is expected to be an eight-day trial.
Paltrow, 50, told a Utah jury in no uncertain terms Friday that Terry Sanderson, 76, ran into him from behind on the slope at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. Sanderson, a retired optometrist, initially sued him for more than $3 million in damages, an amount later reduced to $300,000. Paltrow is counter-suing for $1 plus attorney fees.
Sanderson, who described himself as a careful and frequent skier, described the incident as he remembered it, including visible signs warning skiers to slow down.
“I heard something I’ve never heard at a ski resort – a blood-curdling scream,” he said. He said he assumed someone was out of control.
“I was hit on my back, and right on my shoulder blades. It was like perfectly centered, the fists and poles were there, on my shoulder blades. It was a terrible, terrible smack. I was never hit. It was hard,” he said on Monday. He said he was “flying” on impact and all he saw was snow when he lost control. The last thing he remembered, he said, was thinking that he should have protected his face and head.
When his lawyer asked if things in his life had changed after the accident, he replied in the affirmative. “It’s like I’m living a different life now,” he said.
He said he could no longer ski because of his injuries, which he said included four broken ribs and a concussion.
Earlier testimony also focused on Sanderson’s health. Witnesses, including his doctor and his daughters, testified about Sanderson’s medical problems, including symptoms of brain damage and broken bones.
Attorneys are trying to determine whether Sanderson or Paltrow was climbing at the time of the crash, a point of ski etiquette that it will probably also determine who is responsible for the accident. Paltrow said Friday that Sanderson skied on her back.
Paltrow was called by Sanderson’s attorneys. Her attorneys are expected to call her children, Moses and Apple, and now-husband, Brad Falchuck, later in the trial.