Gwyneth Paltrow was in Park City, Utah, on Tuesday for the start of a trial on a retired optometrist’s allegation that the actor and businessman crashed into him on the ski slopes in 2016, leaving him with serious injuries.
Both Paltrow and the former doctor, Terry Sanderson, were present in the courtroom as their attorneys presented conflicting recollections of the incident that occurred at Park City’s Deer Valley Resort.
A central question during the trial, which is expected to last eight days, will be who was uphill and who was downhill during the incident, because Utah law says a skier has the right-of-way. The jury will have to decide if Paltrow acted negligently during the encounter.
Sanderson’s lawsuit, originally filed in 2019, alleges Paltrow crashed into him, with a witness using the term “hit-and-run.” Paltrow, however, has claimed that the retired doctor tangled with her from behind her and dragged her into the snow with him.
Sanderson originally sought $3.1 million in damages, but his lawyers said in court Tuesday that they are seeking only about $300,000 in the amended claim on trial.
A month after Sanderson filed his lawsuit, the “Shakespeare in Love” Oscar-winning actor countersued, doubling down on his version of events and seeking $1 “token damages” plus legal fees. Any other amounts awarded would be donated to charity, the counterclaim said.
Associated Press contributed to this report.