Jury in Gwyneth Paltrow ski crash trial retires to consider verdict

Gwyneth Paltrow pictured during the civil trial   (Getty Images)
Gwyneth Paltrow pictured during the civil trial (Getty Images)

A jury in the US has begun deliberating if Gwyneth Paltrow is at fault for a ski collision in 2016 that left a man with broken ribs.

The Oscar-winning actress is accused of hitting retired optometrist Terry Sanderson on the ski slope, leaving him with several broken ribs and severe brain injuries.

She has denied the claims, alleging that Mr Sanderson crashed into her at the Deer Valley resort in Utah, and caused her to lose “half a day of skiing".

The eight-person jury will need to weigh competing versions of who was the downhill skier, making the other culpable for the crash.

In closing arguments, Paltrow's lawyers asked the jury to disregard the opposing side's emotional pleas for sympathy for Mr Sanderson.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mr Sanderson has said the collision left him with a concussion and four broken ribs.

His counsel Robert Sykes told the jury that Paltrow’s belief was not responsible for the ski collision was sincerely held, but wrong.

“That day that Terry left his house to go skiing... he anticipated like many other days in his life a fun day of skiing, and he never returned home that night as the same Terry. He never came home, figuratively speaking,” he said.

“Terry has tried to get off that mountain but he's really still there. Part of Terry will forever be (there).”

Paltrow’s legal team said it would've been easier to simply write a check to settle the lawsuit, but this would not have been a good message for her children.

“But what would that teach her children?" her lawyer Steve Owens asked jurors.

“It's not about the money. It's about ruining a very delicate time in a relationship where they were trying to get their kids together," Mr Owens said.

The 2016 family trip to Deer Valley Resort was the first time Paltrow and her then-boyfriend Brad Falchuk brought their kids together in an effort to join families, he said.

In closing arguments, Mr Sanderson’s attorneys estimated damages as more than $3.2 million (£2.58m).

Paltrow has countersued for a symbolic $1 and attorney fees, though her attorneys said in closing arguments that the crash had damaged her far more.

Mr Sanderson's attorneys have cast doubt on Paltrow's testimony and underscored the injuries that their client, Mr Sanderson, has said changed the course of his life.

In a packed courtroom, they argued it was unlikely that someone could ski between another skier's two legs as Paltrow claimed.

They also noted that she didn't deny watching her kids skiing the moment of the crash, and pointed to a witness who claimed he saw Paltrow crash into the 76-year-old.

But the Oscar-winning actress’s lawyers argued that the actress didn't cause the accident and that its effects aren't as bad as Mr Sanderson claims.

They have suggested that he is pursuing the claim in part because of Paltrow’s fame.

Paltrow earlier told the jury she initially thought she was being “violated" when the collision began.

Three days later Mr Sanderson gave an entirely different account, saying she ran into him and sent him “absolutely flying."

Throughout the trial jurors have also heard from a variety of medical experts, ski instructors, and members of both Mr Sanderson’s and Ms Paltrow’s families, including the actress’s children, Apple and Moses Martin.