The Official Football Souvenir Store
The injuries suffered by Gwyneth Paltrow’s accuser could not “plausibly” have been caused by him crashing into her, a US court has been told.
Terry Sanderson, 76, showed “typical hallmarks” of a traumatic brain injury and “deteriorated abruptly” following the 2016 incident on the slopes of the Deer Valley Resort in Utah, according to a radiologist.
Mr Sanderson, a retired optometrist, is suing the Hollywood star for $300,000 (£245,000) after she allegedly “slammed” into him from behind, leaving him unresponsive with several broken ribs and brain damage.
The Oscar-nominated actress also allegedly “bolted” from the scene without saying a word.
But 50-year-old Paltrow, who is also a lifestyle influencer, rejects the claims, with her lawyer calling Mr Sanderson’s version of events “utter BS”.
Her legal team has told jurors in the Utah town of Park City that Mr Sanderson was the one who crashed into her during her family holiday – a collision in which she sustained what they called a “full body blow”. Paltrow claims he has been overstating his injuries as well as trying to exploit her celebrity and wealth.
On the second day of the court case, radiologist Dr Wendell Gibby, who examined him in the aftermath of the crash, said Mr Sanderson would have “protected himself” if he had collided with Paltrow head on.
“I think it’s very unlikely that this would have been caused by Terry running into Gwyneth Paltrow,” he said.
“I don’t think it would be plausible that if he were running into her he would have broken the ribs on the side of his chest – he likely would have had his arms extended, he would have protected himself.
“Had he been the person running into her, I don’t think he would have sustained these types of injuries.”
“The rib fractures certainly corroborate that there was enough force to cause a head injury,” Dr Gibby testified.
‘Terry Sanderson was a high-energy person before collision’
In court, the radiologist also talked about what Mr Sanderson was like before the 2016 incident, saying: “Terry had been a very high-functioning, high-energy person. Every day he was doing lots of things.
“But after his accident he deteriorated abruptly and many of the activities he used to do he stopped doing like dancing, for the most part, his skiing activities.
“His personal interactions with his children and grandchildren suffered and he had trouble multi-tasking… He would go to Home Depot and forget why he was there. Those are all typical hallmarks of someone who has had a traumatic brain injury.”
Read more: ‘Paltrow never said a word after hitting fellow skier and bolting’
Dr Gibby added: “In Terry’s case… he was a well-respected guy, but I think he lost some of that connectedness. [He had] difficulty in maintaining friendships and the relationships that he had.”
‘Not the person he was’
The court then heard from neuropsychologist Sam Goldstein, who conducted tests on the plaintiff and said Mr Sanderson had told him he was “not the person he was” following the 2016 ski crash.
“He has become obsessed with trying to return himself to the level of functioning he perceived he had before this accident,” he told the court.
“From his view, he is not the person he was. From his view, he has lost Terry Sanderson.”
‘Acute, rapid downturn’
Mr Goldstein also said the ski incident caused an “acute, rapid downturn” in Mr Sanderson’s behaviour and functioning which had not stemmed from pre-existing medical issues.
“Were it not for that particular accident, the life he was living in the six months to a year before… would be the life he would continue to be living,” Mr Goldstein said.
“These pre-existing vulnerabilities he had don’t explain the acute [very quick] change and now the long-term change in his behaviour and functioning – this is an acute, rapid downturn.”
“The problems he had before – his mood, his anxiety, his personality style – are not the reasons he’s struggling today. They don’t explain the acute change in his functioning and the adverse pattern of emotions and behaviour and communication he presents with in everyday life.”
He added Mr Sanderson was not “faking” his problems or “making a mountain out of a molehill”.
On ski slopes, Utah law gives the skier who is downhill the right of way, and a central question in the case is who was farther down the beginner’s run when the collision happened.
Both Paltrow and Mr Sanderson claim they were further downhill when the other rammed into them, causing their skis to intertwine and the pair to tumble.
During day one of the case, jurors heard from Craig Ramon, who had been skiing with Mr Sanderson and was present in the aftermath of the collision.
Mr Ramon said he had seen a skier, later identified as Paltrow, “slam” into Mr Sanderson and later “bolt” down the hill without saying a word.
The hearing continues.
Read more from Sky News:
Rishi Sunak releases tax return details after bowing to pressure
Prince William makes surprise visit near Ukraine border
The Official Football Souvenir Store
West Ham United