January 30, 2019 / 6:52 PM / 9 months ago

Utah man sues Gwyneth Paltrow for alleged ski slope 'hit and run'

(Reuters) - A Utah man has sued Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow for $3.1 million, claiming she slammed into him on a ski slope in 2016, breaking four of his ribs and knocking him unconscious before skiing off.

FILE PHOTO: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at the LACMA Art + Film Gala in Los Angeles, California, November 7, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

Terry Sanderson, 72, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Paltrow in Utah state court over the alleged “hit and run ski crash” at the Deer Valley Resort in Park City.

Sanderson, a retired optometrist who said he has skied for more than 30 years, was heading down a beginner slope on Feb. 26, 2016, when he heard “a hysterical scream” and was hit hard between the shoulder blades, he said at a news conference on Tuesday.

In court papers, Sanderson said he suffered “permanent traumatic brain injury” as a result.

A spokesperson for Paltrow confirmed the accident had involved the actress but shrugged off the suit.

“This lawsuit is completely without merit. Anyone who reads the facts will realize that,” Paltrow spokeswoman Heather Wilson said, declining to comment further about the incident.

Robert Sykes, the attorney representing Sanderson, said Paltrow violated a local ordinance requiring skiers to stop and help anyone injured in a collision.

“Gwyneth Paltrow was skiing out of control,” Sykes told the news conference. “What Ms. Paltrow did that day was knock down Terry Sanderson, pick herself up, dust herself off and ski off without rendering any help.”

Sanderson said he didn’t remember the aftermath of his head hitting the packed snow and that he has had short-term memory loss ever since.

Craig Ramon, who was skiing with Sanderson and claims he witnessed the collision, said a resort staffer at the scene identified the woman who collided with Sanderson as Paltrow.

Ramon said he then approached Paltrow, asking whether she was alright.

“When I started to ski to her, she ended up taking off. Through the whole thing, she didn’t say a single word,” Ramon said via videoconference at the news briefing.

Paltrow won the 1998 Academy Award for best actress for her role in “Shakespeare in Love” and is also known for her Goop website and store that promotes healthy eating and stress-free living.

The Deer Valley Resort and three of its staffers are named as defendants in the suit. Deer Valley spokeswoman Emily Summers declined to comment.

Reporting by Katharine Jackson in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone and Bernadette Baum

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