Gwyneth Paltrow Found Not Liable in Utah Ski Crash Case, Terry Sanderson '100 Percent' at Fault
The Oscar winner was awarded $1 after the jury found Terry Sanderson caused her harm in the 2016 ski collision
The jury reached a verdict in the civil trial between Gwyneth Paltrow and Terry Sanderson over a ski collision that happened seven years ago.
After less than three hours of deliberations on Thursday, the jury in Park City, Utah, found that Paltrow, 50, was not at fault and that retired optometrist Sanderson, 76, was at fault 100 percent and that it caused the actress harm. The jury awarded her $1.
Over the course of the two-week proceedings, the jury was tasked with determining what Paltrow and Sanderson did before and after the Feb. 26, 2016, incident, who was the downhill skier, and who crashed into whom.
Paltrow says in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, "I felt that acquiescing to a false claim compromised my integrity. 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."
Her attorney Stephen Owens adds, "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."
Sanderson's attorney C. Peter Sorensen said in a statement, "We are disappointed in the outcome, but we love and support the legal process. We thank Judge Holmberg, the jury and staff for all their efforts. We will spend the next while evaluating and discussing where we go from here."
While exiting the courtroom after the verdict was revealed, Paltrow leaned in and briefly whispered to Sanderson before continuing to leave. Sanderson confirmed to Extra that she said, "I wish you well," and he responded, "Thank you, dear." He told the outlet that was "very kind of her."
Related:Biggest Bombshells from Gwyneth Paltrow's Utah Ski Trial
Sanderson first sued Paltrow back in 2019. He originally filed a lawsuit seeking damages in excess of $3.1 million, but Judge Kent. R. Holmberg lowered that amount to $300,000 ahead of the trial's start on March 21. Paltrow, meanwhile, countersued for $1 and legal fees.
Owens said in closing arguments earlier on Thursday, "The easy thing for my client would have been to write a check and be done with it. But what does that tell her kids? 'Cost of business?' No. It's wrong. It's actually wrong that he hurt her, and that's why we're here."
Before the jury made its decision, they heard from a number of medical experts, as well as members of Sanderson's family as they spoke to his injuries, medical history and personality before and after the incident with Paltrow.
The jury also heard from witnesses on the mountain with Paltrow and Sanderson that day, such as Craig Ramon and Deer Valley Resort ski instructor Eric Christiansen, as well as experts who investigated the collision.
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Both Paltrow and Sanderson themselves testified during the trial, with the actress and retired doctor presenting opposing views of the collision.
He testified, "I realized, after a period of time, that no one believed how serious my injuries were." When Paltrow took the stand, she said she felt "very sorry" for Sanderson: "It seems like he's had a very difficult life. But I did not cause the accident, so I cannot be at fault for anything that subsequently happened to him."
Related:Gwyneth Paltrow Explains Why 2016 Ski Trip Was 'Significant' for Her Family After Dad Bruce's Death
Paltrow's defense team initially planned to have her husband Brad Falchuk and her two children, Apple, 18, and Moses, 16, take the stand during the trial. Due to scheduling conflicts, the defense opted to instead have Apple and Moses's depositions read aloud for the court. Falchuk, 52, did not testify at all during the trial.
Her kids said they didn't witness the collision but noticed their mom was in a "state of shock" afterward, and Moses recalled hearing Paltrow "yelling at" Sanderson after the collision.
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