Gwyneth Paltrow files countersuit over Utah ski crash, says she's the victim

Terry Sanderson filed a $3.1 million lawsuit against Paltrow last month.

February 20, 2019, 10:40 PM

Gwyneth Paltrow filed a countersuit on Wednesday against a man who accused her of injuring him when he claimed the actress crashed into him at a Utah ski resort three years ago.

Paltrow denied causing the collision and claimed the accuser, Terry Sanderson, was the one who plowed into her on Feb. 26, 2016, delivering a full "body blow" from behind, according to the countersuit.

"Ms. Paltrow remembers what happened very clearly. She was enjoying skiing with her family on vacation in Utah, when Plaintiff -- who was uphill from Ms. Paltrow -- plowed into her back. She sustained a full 'body blow,'" the suit said. "Ms. Paltrow was angry with Plaintiff, and said so. Plaintiff apologized. She was shaken and upset, and quit skiing for the day even though it was still morning."

Gwyneth Paltrow
FILE - In this April 23, 2018 file photo, Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at the world premiere of "Avengers: Infinity War" in Los Angeles. Paltrow denied Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, that she skied into a man who accused her in a lawsuit of seriously injuring him at a Utah ski resort, alleging in a counter claim that the man actually plowed into her from behind and delivered a full “body blow.” (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
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Paltrow said her injuries were minor and that she is only seeking "symbolic damages" of $1 plus costs for her lawyers fees from Sanderson for defending herself against "this meritless claim."

The Oscar-winning actress, who starred in films like "Shakespeare in Love," "The Royal Tenenbaums" and the "Iron Man" movies, called the lawsuit against her an "attempt to exploit her celebrity and wealth," according to the countersuit.

Sanderson filed a $3.1 million lawsuit against Paltrow and the Deer Valley Ski Resort late last month, accusing the Hollywood star of running into him on the slopes and fleeing the scene.

Sanderson, a retired optometrist, said she plowed into him from behind, "knocking him out, and causing a brain injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries," according to his lawsuit.

Dr. Terry Sanderson talks with media during a press conference in Salt Lake City, Jan. 29, 2019, after Sanderson had a ski accident with actress Gwyneth Paltrow at Deer Valley Ski Resort in 2016.
Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret News/AP
Gwyneth Paltrow speaks onstage at the In goop Health Summit at 3Labs on June 9, 2018, in Culver City, Calif.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

"Gwyneth Paltrow knew it was wrong to slam into Dr. Sanderson's back, knocking him down, landing on top of him, knocking him out and then leave the scene of the ski crash she caused, but she did it anyway," his suit said.

"Paltrow got up, turned and skied away, leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, seriously injured," the initial suit added. "Neither Ms. Paltrow nor Deer Valley lodge personnel notified emergency responders about the injured Dr. Sanderson. They left him at the scene with serious brain injuries caused by Ms. Paltrow."

Sanderson's lawsuit, filed in the 3rd District Court in Summit County, Utah, named Paltrow, her ski instructor, Deer Valley Resort and two unidentified employees as defendants. It seeks at least $3.1 million in damages.

Sanderson, who was 69 at the time of the alleged incident, said Paltrow was skiing "too fast for her ability and distracted" when the accident happened.

His attorney, Robert Sykes, doubled down on the previous claims in light of the countersuit.

"Gwyneth Paltrow's Answer and Counterclaim is rife with errors. Gwyneth Paltrow skied into Dr. Terry Sanderson's back, breaking 4 of his ribs and leaving him with a concussion," Sykes said in a statement. "A witness to the collision, Craig Ramon, confirms that Ms. Paltrow struck Dr. Sanderson in the back. Then Ms. Paltrow left the scene of the collision."

"Further, to evade her responsibility, Ms. Paltrow's pleading misrepresents Dr. Sanderson's medical records," he added.

Deer Valley Resort said it does not comment on the "pending legal matters of the resort or our guests." The resort's attorneys previously requested to have Sanderson's lawsuit thrown out.