Who Is Terry Sanderson? New Details About The Man Suing Gwyneth Paltrow For A Ski Accident

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Who Is Terry Sanderson? New Details About The Man Suing Gwyneth Paltrow For A Ski Accident
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Gwyneth Paltrow has filed a countersuit against a man named Terry Sanderson, a combative move in a legal battle that began in January. The battle, however, is based on an event that took place on Feb. 26, 2016, three years ago. Paltrow and Sanderson had been staying at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. They had been skiing on the same mountain when the contested incident took place.  

Sanderson claimed in his suit that he had been the victim of “a hit-and-run ski crash.” He said in a press conference that he had been on the beginner’s run, “Bandana” and noticed two signs that said to “slow down.” Sanderson stated he did as instructed — but as he slowed, heard “this hysterical scream that you never hear on a ski run … like King Kong came out of the jungle.” Paltrow then crashed into his back. Sanderson claimed that Paltrow, due to the high velocity at which she was skiing, inflicted some serious injuries upon him. According to Buzzfeed News, the injuries included “permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement.” After she hit him, “Paltrow got up, turned and skied away, leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, seriously injured.”

Sanderson filed the lawsuit on Jan. 29 and is seeking damages in excess of $3.1 million. Paltrow filed her countersuit on Feb. 20 and is seeking a jury trial and a symbolic $1 in damages, along with attorney’s fees. She says that Sanderson’s suit is a “meritless claim” and “an attempt to exploit her celebrity and wealth.” Paltrow claims in her recent countersuit that she “remembers what happened very clearly” that day. Her court documents, obtained by Us Weekly, say “[Paltrow] was enjoying skiing with her family on vacation in Utah, when Plaintiff — who was uphill from Ms. Paltrow — plowed into her back. She sustained a full ‘body blow.’ Ms. Paltrow was angry with Plaintiff, and said so. Plaintiff apologized. She was shaken and upset, and quit skiing for the day even though it was still morning.”

Plenty is known about Paltrow, but Sanderson has only come into attention since his high profile lawsuit. Who is Terry Sanderson? A Google search may bring confusing results.

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1. He’s a retired optometrist.

Dr. Terry Sanderson does not practice anymore, but he used to be an optometrist.

Interestingly, Paltrow’s suit cites evidence regarding Sanderson’s own eyesight and medical matters before and after the accident. Paltrow alleges that Sanderson “told his doctor about one year earlier [before the accident] that he was blind in his right eye,” and “his vision in his left eye was decreasing.”

“After the accident, Plaintiff’s doctor conducted neuropsychological testing that did not demonstrate any deficits in his cognitive functioning,” her paperwork continues. “Plaintiff’s friend, who was skiing with Plaintiff, said that in his interactions with Plaintiff since the collision, Plaintiff acted the same mentally as before the collision.”

Meanwhile, Sanderson claimed in a press conference held on Feb. 20 that he remembers “feeling very sore, and my brain felt like novocaine, I felt really numb” just after the incident.

 Empire |  @GoPro

A post shared by Deer Valley Resort (@deervalleyresort) on Feb 20, 2019 at 4:31pm PST

2. Sanderson allegedly waited to sue because his case is “weak.”

A representative for Paltrow said that he waited three years to file the lawsuit because no lawyer was willing to take it. He suggested the suit was Sanderson’s attempt to get a payout.

3. He is not the gay rights activist and secularist from the U.K.

Terry Sanderson shares the same name as the man across the pond. British Terry Sanderson is, according to his Twitter bio, a “Gay and secular activist, writer, President of National Secular Society.” He began campaigning for gay rights in 1969, and founded a gay-themed publishing house in 1986.

As the president of the National Secular Society, he promotes the separation of church and state. The Terry Sanderson who is suing Gwyneth Paltrow, however, is from Utah, and is not a member of the gay rights or secular movements.

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4. He’s been skiing for over 30 years.

Sanderson was 69 at the time of the incident — he is now 72.

He said in the press conference on Tuesday that he had been skiing down the green run for the first time when Paltrow allegedly collided into him. Paltrow, 46, was reportedly enjoying skiing lessons with her family at the resort.

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You KNOW I will be this guys pepper anytime he needs me  #pepperonyforever

A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) on Feb 20, 2019 at 5:31pm PST

5. He’s not just suing Paltrow.

Sanderson is suing the Deer Valley Resort as well. He has also included ski instructor Eric Christiansen in the suit, along with two other unnamed resort employees.

According to Craig Ramon, a witness cited in Sanderson’s suit, Christiansen berated Sanderson while on the ground after the incident and then told Ramon that Sanderson was the one who injured Paltrow. Christiansen was accompanying Paltrow and allegedly filed a false report, claiming that Paltrow did not cause the crash.

Emily Summers, a spokeswoman for the Deer Valley Resort, said the resort cannot comment on pending legal matters.

Today’s #DeerValleyMoment from @emilyskisut.

A post shared by Deer Valley Resort (@deervalleyresort) on Feb 22, 2019 at 5:59pm PST

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Alison Cerri is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.