The trial for a skiing accident involving actress Gwyneth Paltrow began on Tuesday in Utah, United States. Retired optometrist Terry Sanderson is suing the actress for $300,000 after a collision at the Deer Valley Resort in 2016.
Sanderson's lawyers claim that the actress was skiing recklessly and that the collision resulted in serious injuries for Sanderson.
The Responsibility of Uphill Skiers
In the court, Robert Sykes, an attorney, stated, "It's the uphill skiers' responsibility to yield the right of way to the people below… especially on a beginner run.
They know skiers may be less experienced and that skiers below them trust that the ones coming behind are paying attention."
The Reckless Descent
According to Sanderson, on February 26th, 2016, Paltrow was skiing down the slopes so recklessly that they collided, leaving Sanderson on the ground as she and her entourage continued their descent at the Deer Valley Resort.
Sanderson's lawyers claim that Paltrow skied out of control, knocking him down and causing a brain injury, four broken ribs, and other serious injuries. Sanderson accuses Paltrow of leaving him lying in the snow, seriously injured, after the collision.
In court, both Paltrow and Sanderson were described as victims by their lawyers. Sanderson also accused Deer Valley and its employees of engaging in a cover-up by failing to provide full information about the accident report and failing to follow safety rules.
However, Deer Valley was dropped from the case.
Paltrow's attorney questioned Sanderson's credibility, noting his age and documented pre-collision brain injuries. The attorney also pointed out that Sanderson posted a "very happy, smiling picture" of himself online, being tobogganed down the slope after the crash.
The attorney stated, "His memories of the case get better over the years. That's not how memory works." The outcome of the trial could determine whether Paltrow or Sanderson were further off the beginner's course when the crash occurred.
Both attorneys claim in court filings that their clients were further down the hill and therefore had an advantage. The trial is expected to last just over seven days.
Determining Liability on the Slopes
The case brings attention to the responsibility and liability of skiers on the slopes and the potential consequences of reckless skiing. As the trial progresses, it will be interesting to see the outcome and how it may affect future skiing incidents.
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