A judge has turned down an offer from Gwyneth Paltrow’s legal team to “bring gifts” for courtroom security at her Utah trial.
The actress and Goop CEO is being sued by retired optometrist Dr. Terry Sanderson, 76, and is set to testify today.
Sanderson claims she crashed into him on the slopes of Flagstaff Mountain at the Deer Valley Resort on February 26, 2016.
Before proceedings began in Park City court on Thursday, attorney Steve Owens asked the judge if Paltrow’s team could bring gifts for the sheriffs to thank them for their service.
“My client’s private security wanted to bring gifts for the sheriffs because of how helpful they have been,” Owens said. “So, I wanted to do it transparently and see if there are any objections.”
American actress Gwyneth Paltrow enters the courtroom after lunch on March 23, 2023, in Park City, Utah.
Sanderson’s lawyers later demurred, arguing that the defense failed to inform them before submitting the request to the judge.
“Okay, there’s an objection, so thanks, but no thanks,” the judge ordered. “If the parties decide to do that later, that’s fine too.”
It’s unclear what treats his team would have offered.
Earlier this week, Judge Kent Holmberg had told the defense that the court would help accommodate Paltrow’s transitions from her vehicle to the courtroom so she wouldn’t be disturbed by the press waiting in the parking lot.
Sanderson claims that Paltrow slammed into him with a “full body blow” leaving him with “permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement.” Paltrow claims that Sanderson crashed into her.
Sanderson is seeking $300,000 in damages. Paltrow, 50, denies being at fault for the accident and has countersued.
During proceedings on Thursday, the plaintiff’s daughter, Polly Sanderson-Grasham, said her father had been “outgoing and engaged” before the accident, but was now “agitated” and “easily frustrated.”
Sanderson-Grasham, 49, spoke of a time after the accident when she said she really noticed the changes in her father.
“He was sitting in a chair by the window and I almost expected drool to come out of his mouth,” he said.
First of all, he wasn’t engaged to anyone. He had taken himself to a remote corner and that was my first real slap in the face of something terribly wrong.
However, during cross-examination, he conceded that his father was at times “frequently frustrated” and “overstepping the limits” before the accident.
Lawyers representing Gwyneth Paltrow and the man who sued her for a 2016 ski collision with Judge Kent Holmberg, on March 22, 2023, in Park City, Utah
He said his father had become “obsessed” with the trial and badly wanted an apology.
Sanderson lost consciousness for several minutes after the accident and suffered a concussion, according to his legal action.
A doctor who testified Thursday morning said the plaintiff was left with a traumatic brain injury that “completely changed his life.”
Dr. Alina Fong, a neuropsychologist, said Sanderson had been “struggling with concussion symptoms for a year and a half” when she first saw him in May 2017.
She said Sanderson reported symptoms, including “mood and personality changes, pain and headaches.”
When asked if there were any signs that he was faking his symptoms, Dr. Fong said “none at all.”
The accident on a beginner’s slope occurred while Paltrow was skiing with her family.
Sanderson’s lawyers said the Hollywood actress and lifestyle influencer was up the slope and struck him from behind, and her injuries are evidence of this.
His defense team says he had started down the slope when a man crashed into his back.
They have focused on Sanderson’s medical conditions before the collision, including hearing and vision loss from a stroke.
Paltrow is seeking $1 in damages plus attorneys’ fees.