Gwyneth Paltrow trial sees skier’s daughter weep in court over his brain injury
Gwyneth Paltrow was once again present in court as her trial reached its third day.
The US actress, 50, is being sued by retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, who alleges she collided with him and left him with significant brain injuries.
His defence is seeking damages of up to $3,276,000 (£2,666,828), said Mr Lawrence Buhler, who is representing Ms Paltrow.
Meanwhile, Ms Paltrow, who has been described by her legal team as a ‘conservative’ skier, is counter-suing Sanderson for one dollar, alleging that he was the one who crashed into her.
Day three of proceedings saw Mr Sanderson’s daughter take the stand, while the actress watched on.
Polly Sanderson-Grasham, 49, told the court that prior to the accident when he was allegedly hit on a ski slope by Ms Paltrow, her father had been ‘fun-loving, gregarious’ man.
Ms Sanderson-Grasham described her father as a ‘goer’ and a ‘real positive influence’, as well as an experienced skier.
‘He was a better skier than I was, he liked to have fun but I don’t think he took a lot of risks. He was an “old man” skier – just enjoyed it,’ she said.
‘I would say between advanced and expert at his best; I think it was a big reason when he retired that he came down here – it was something he loved to do.’
Ms Sanderson-Grasham said seeing the state of her father at his granddaughter’s graduation around three months after the ski-ing crash had been like a ‘slap in the face’.
‘I felt like “wow”. There was a moment when I almost expected drool to come out of his mouth,’ she said.
‘He wasn’t engaged with anyone… that was my first slap in the face that something is terribly wrong.’
She added that her father could now not ‘see the forest for the trees’ and got stuck ‘in the minutiae’ of things.
‘He’s easily frustrated, he gets agitated, angry – I didn’t have memory of him being an angry person but he’s got a pretty short fuse these days,’ she said.
‘I think he’s just a little more cautious, not as confident – he’s in a really negative place and that’s hard for me as his daughter.’
Ms Sanderson-Grasham then became emotional, telling the court: ‘I hope that he moves on.
‘I hope that we’re able to put this very strange chapter behind us.
‘We don’t always choose the doors we walk through but we can choose how we walk through them. We have a lot of healing to do.’
She also said she believes someone should be held to ‘account’ for what happened.
‘I think that with his brain injury, he really does become consumed with things, and righting this wrong for him has really consumed him and he wanted to make it right,’ she said.
‘He wanted someone to apologise, or acknowledge, or be held accountable for their decision on that date.’
The court also heard testimony via video from Dr. Richard Boehne, who said Mr Sanderson’s injuries had been caused by being struck from behind.
Mr Sanderson suffered a concussion and several broken ribs during the collision.
But, Dr. Boehne said he must have been ‘hit by someone from the side and from behind’, given that the person ‘landed on him’,
He added that he had considered a ‘number of different scenarios’ when coming to his conclusion.
The trial continues.
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