If you’re an avid skier, you may be aware that a certain celebrity has been sued for crashing into an elderly man on skis. The celebrity, of course, is Oscar-winning actress and self-styled wellness guru Gwyneth Paltrow. Some media sites have referred to the ongoing trial as “the funniest sporting lawsuit of all time.”
The plaintiff is a 76-year-old guy named Terry Sanderson. Sanderson sued Paltrow in 2019, saying the actress crashed into him with reckless speed while screaming at the top her lungs in Park City, Utah in 2016. The crash allegedly knocked him off his skis and sent him flying through the air.
Paltrow decided to sue back, arguing that it was Sanderson who skied into her.
“You skied directly into my effing back,” she said to him in the courtroom, according to CBS News.
Those of us who have skied at a resort understand the significance of the distinction: If you’re skiing downhill, it’s your job to steer clear of the people on the slope beneath you. The downhill skier always has the right of way. It’s an important rule, especially on beginner slopes like the one where the crash took place. After all, ski accidents can be deadly, and beginner slopes are often covered with children. And the elderly.
Few people have disputed the severity of Sanderson’s injuries; according to reporting from The Guardian, he went home with four broken ribs and a head injury that day. But the lawsuit is a hot topic on Twitter for other reasons. The primary points of discussion: (A) the unlikely fact that the founder of Goop is involved in an extreme sporting lawsuit, and (B) the fact that the courtroom drawings and 3D renderings designed to illustrate the crash are a bit absurd. Here’s a small sampling:
i just pic.twitter.com/RkY3LL4LMp
— Kathryn VanArendonk (@kvanaren) March 28, 2023
While we’re viewing the collision as a serious incident, we have to say that the idea of Gwyneth Paltrow shrieking as she careers down a bunny slope at high speeds is certainly not one we ever expected to contemplate.
The court proceedings, which are being held in Utah, are currently entering their second week. So far, Sanderson has claimed that the crash left him with lasting injuries and that he’s now unable to ski. Paltrow, on the other hand, says that she was also very upset by the crash, which she maintains was caused by Sanderson. Sanderson is currently seeking $300,000 in damages. (Initially he sought more than $3 million, reports The Guardian). Paltrow is seeking $1.
While we can’t speculate on what the results of this case might be, we can assure you that it’s been fascinating to watch, and we’ll be tuning in until the very end.