Man sues actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Deer Valley for alleged skiing crash
January 30, 2019
A Utah man is suing actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Deer Valley Resort, claiming she seriously injured him in a skiing crash in February of 2016 and that a resort ski instructor filed a false report about the incident to protect her.
Terry Sanderson claims in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Summit County's 3rd District Court, that Paltrow hit him while skiing "out of control" on one of the resort's beginner runs. The incident broke four of his ribs and left him with a brain injury and other health problems, he claims. Paltrow, the suit says, skied away as Sanderson lay injured in the snow.
The lawsuit further claims Deer Valley ski instructor Eric Christiansen, who was training Paltrow, did not see the crash but, in an incident report filed later, accused Sanderson of causing it. The suit also says neither Christiansen, nor two other Deer Valley employees accompanying Paltrow, contacted ski patrol to assist the injured Sanderson.
Paltrow is known for roles in films like "Shakespeare in Love" and entries in the Marvel superhero series. Also listed as defendants in the suit are the resort, Christiansen and two unnamed Deer Valley employees.
Sanderson is seeking damages of more than $3.1 million in addition to attorney fees and other costs.
He denied during a Tuesday press conference in Salt Lake City suing Paltrow because of her fame. He said he waited three years to file the lawsuit because of his health problems and a difficulty retaining legal representation.
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Sanderson said he doesn't remember the crash. His version of events is based on the account of an acquaintance who was skiing with him at the time of the incident.
"I would like to be vindicated,” said Sanderson, now 72 and a retired doctor. "I would like my truth to be told.”
Heather Wilson, a spokeswoman for Paltrow, denied the claims in the suit. "This lawsuit is without merit and we expect to be vindicated," she said in an email statement.
Deer Valley spokeswoman Emily Summers declined to comment, indicating the resort does not comment on pending legal matters.
Skiers and snowboarders have long filed lawsuits against ski resorts after on-mountain incidents, claiming the resorts are culpable for their injuries. In 2016, for instance, a hedge fund manager injured in a skiing accident at Deer Valley sought $60 million in a lawsuit against the resort, alleging he hit a temporary, man-made platform constructed for a ski competition.
According to court documents, the hedge fund manager and Deer Valley recently reached a confidential settlement agreement. As a result, a judge in December dismissed the lawsuit.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.