Jury deliberations in the civil trial between Gwyneth Paltrow and Terry Sanderson began Thursday afternoon.
Sanderson has sued Paltrow for $300,000, claiming she left him severely injured after a ski collision in 2016. Sanderson and Paltrow have very different recollections of the incident. The actress claims Sanderson skied into her from behind, while the retired optometrist has stated Paltrow hit him.
Paltrow countersued Sanderson for $1 and attorneys’ fees.
Shortly after the jury was dismissed for deliberations, a lawyer representing Court TV, ABC, CNN, Daily Mail, the Associated Press and NBC News argued a still camera and video camera should be allowed to capture the plaintiff, defendant and counsel’s reactions. The judge granted this motion.
Paltrow’s lawyer also requested to be allowed to speak to the media after the verdict is read and his request was granted. Neither party was allowed to address the media up until this point.
The jury heard from Paltrow and Sanderson’s lawyers before beginning deliberations.
Paltrow’s lawyer Stephen Owens emphasized that the actress has spent the last two weeks as a “punching bag” as she’s attended each day of the trial.
He explained to the jury that Paltrow lost more than just a half day of skiing and actually lost out on a bonding experience with her then-boyfriend and now-husband Brad Falchuk due to the stress she endured after the ski collision.
“[Sanderson] hit her. He hurt her,” Owens said. “And then he asked her for $3 million for the pleasure. That is not fair.”
“The easy thing for my client would have been to write a check and be done with it,” he added. “But what does that tell her kids?”
Sanderson’s attorney went first and began with an anecdote of a car crash he witnessed where a man ran a red light but believed the light to be green.
“I tell you that story because so often people that are in these types of events have a totally different viewpoint,” Bob Sykes told the jury. “So, we don’t hold anything against Gwyneth or her viewpoint as sincerely expressed, but she’s wrong based on the evidence.”
The attorney also suggested the “flakey” Deer Valley Resort investigation into what happened was a “coverup.” Sykes accused ski instructor Eric Christiansen of being “inconsistent,” specifically about the claim Sanderson told him he was “OK” despite having four broken ribs.
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The jury was read instructions by Judge Kent Holmberg.
“You must decide whether Gwyneth Paltrow or Terry Sanderson was negligent or whether they were both negligent. Negligence means that a person did not use reasonable care,” the judge told the jury during Thursday’s hearing.
“We all have a duty to use reasonable caution to avoid injuring others. Reasonable care is simply what a reasonable, careful person would do in a similar situation. A person may be negligent in acting or in failing to act.”
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The judge added: “The amount of care that is reasonable depends on the situation. Ordinary circumstances do not require extraordinary caution, but some situations require more care because a reasonably careful person would understand that more danger is involved.”
The jury heard testimony from expert witnesses throughout the nearly eight-day trial, including some who claimed Sanderson has experienced persistent concussion symptoms in the years since the 2016 ski collision. Paltrow’s expert witnesses have claimed Sanderson’s decline in cognition could be linked to anxiety and depression or possible dementia.
Owens spent Wednesday afternoon casting doubt on the claim that Sanderson is a “self-imposed recluse.” Owens showed the jury a round of photos that included Sanderson on various excursions after the crash – including trips to Peru, Germany, Morocco, scuba diving, zip-lining, bike rides and boat tours.
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Sanderson said his travels were “part of the healing process.” He testified, “I was told by several neurologists and cognitive therapists, ‘Get back to your routine. As soon you can do that, the better you’ll be.'”
“Looking back at that time, I was determined to prove I didn’t have any mental issues,” he said.
Attorneys for Paltrow and Sanderson began closing arguments on Thursday – roughly eight days after the trial started.
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Paltrow and Sanderson’s legal fight is the result of the 2016 ski collision that left Sanderson severely injured, according to a 2019 lawsuit. Jurors have heard testimony from doctors speaking on Sanderson’s medical condition prior to and following the collision.
Sanderson accused the Goop founder of skiing off after the accident, which left him with a “permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life,” along with emotional distress and disfigurement, according to the suit.
Sanderson originally sued the actress, Deer Valley Resort and an instructor for $3.1 million and claimed he was a victim of a hit-and-run. A judge dismissed the claim, and Deer Valley Resort and the instructor were removed from the lawsuit.
Paltrow has filed a countersuit, claiming that Sanderson previously admitted he did not have a clear memory of the accident. The actress is seeking a judgment for attorneys’ fees plus $1.
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Fox News Digital’s Tracy Wright contributed to this report.