Utah Ski Resort Wants Out of Lawsuit Against Gwyneth Paltrow

By The Associated Press

A Utah ski resort where Gwyneth Paltrow is accused of crashing into and injuring a skier asked on June 10 to be dismissed from a lawsuit, contending the dispute should be settled between the Oscar-winning actress and the alleged victim.

Deer Valley Resort is shielded from responsibilities for skiing collisions under a law that takes into account the inherent dangers of skiing, said attorney Adam Strachan, representing the well-known resort during a hearing in Park City, Utah.

He compared the resort’s inclusion in the lawsuit to parking lot owner being sued by a driver who was hit in a fender by another driver.

“Deer Valley simply has no place in this litigation,” Strachan said.

Lawrence Buhler, an attorney for the man suing the resort and Paltrow, countered that Deer Valley is responsible for the actions of a ski instructor who was with Paltrow and her family on Feb. 26, 2016. That instructor berated the injured skier and didn’t call ski patrol for help, Buhler said.

Terry Sanderson, 72, filed a lawsuit earlier this year against Paltrow in Utah state court over the alleged “hit and run ski crash” at the Deer Valley Resort in Park City.

A retired optometrist, Sanderson claimed to have over 30 years of experience skiing. He was heading down a beginner slope on Feb. 26, 2016, when he heard “a hysterical scream” and was hit hard between the shoulder blades, said Sanderson at a news conference on January 29.

The instructor skied up to Sanderson, as he lay face down in the snow, having suffered a concussion after Paltrow slammed into him, Buhler said.

The instructor yelled, “What did you do? What did you do,” the attorney said. The instructor then lifted Sanderson up on to his skis and skied off with Paltrow and her family, he said.

“He could have been dead, he could have had a broken neck,” Buhler said.

Sanderson’s lawsuit seeks $3.1 million in damages, but he denies he’s suing because Paltrow is a celebrity. He said that it took him nearly three years to file a lawsuit because he ran into problems with previous attorneys and was dealing with an inability to function properly because of the “permanent traumatic brain injury” as a result of the incident.

Robert Sykes, the attorney representing Sanderson, said Paltrow violated a local ordinance requiring skiers to stop and help anyone injured in a collision.

“Gwyneth Paltrow was skiing out of control,” Sykes told the news conference. “What Ms. Paltrow did that day was knock down Terry Sanderson, pick herself up, dust herself off, and ski off without rendering any help.”

A spokesperson for Paltrow confirmed the accident had involved the actress, but shrugged off the suit.

“This lawsuit is completely without merit. Anyone who reads the facts will realize that,” said Paltrow’s spokeswoman Heather Wilson.

Gwyneth Paltrow filed a counterclaim, seeking the dismissal of the original lawsuit, $1 in symbolic damages plus attorney fees, and argues that Sanderson actually the one who plowed into her from behind and that he is trying to exploit her celebrity and wealth.

Paltrow won the 1998 Academy Award for best actress for her role in “Shakespeare in Love” and is also known for her Goop website and store that promotes healthy eating and stress-free living.

Reuters contributed to this report.