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A judge has declined an offer from Gwyneth Paltrow’s legal team to ‘bring in treats’ for courtroom security at her trial in Utah.
The actress and Goop CEO is being sued by retired optometrist Dr Terry Sanderson, 76, and is set to testify today.
Sanderson claims she crashed into him on the slopes of Flagstaff Mountain at the Deer Valley Resort on February 26, 2016.
Before proceedings started in the Park City court on Thursday, attorney Steve Owens asked the judge whether Paltrow’s team could bring treats for the bailiffs to thank them for their service.
‘Private security for my client wanted to bring in treats for the bailiffs for how helpful they’ve been,’ Owens said. ‘So, I wanted to do that transparently and see if there are any objections.’
US actress Gwyneth Paltrow enters the courtroom after lunch break, on March 23, 2023, in Park City, Utah
Sanderson’s attorneys then objected, arguing that the defence did not fill them in before raising the request to the judge.
‘OK, there’s an objection so thank you, but no thank you,’ the judge ordered. ‘If the parties decide to do that later, that’s fine, too.’
It is unclear what treats her team would have offered.
Earlier this week, Judge Kent Holmberg had told the defence that the court would help accommodate Paltrow’s transitions from her vehicle to the courtroom so that she would not be disturbed by press waiting in the parking lot.
Sanderson claims that Paltrow slammed into him in a ‘full body hit’ leaving him with ‘permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement’. Paltrow claims Sanderson crashed into her.
Sanderson is seeking $300,000 in damages. Paltrow, 50, denies blame for the accident and has countersued.
During proceedings on Thursday, the plaintiff’s daughter, Polly Sanderson-Grasham, said her father had been ‘outgoing and engaged’ before the crash, but now gets ‘agitated’ and is ‘easily frustrated’.
Sanderson-Grasham, 49, spoke of one occasion after the crash when she said she really noticed the changes in her father.
‘He was sitting in a chair by the window and I almost expected drool to be coming out of his mouth,’ she said.
‘First of all, he wasn’t engaged with anybody. He had kind of taken himself to a remote corner and that was my first real kind of slap in the face of, like, something’s terribly wrong.’
However, under cross-examination she accepted that her dad was on occasion ‘frequently frustrated’ and ‘overstepping the boundaries’ before the accident.
Attorneys representing Gwyneth Paltrow and the man suing her over a 2016 ski collision huddle with Judge Kent Holmberg, on March 22, 2023, in Park City, Utah
She said that her father had become ‘obsessed’ with the trial and very much wanted an apology.
Sanderson lost consciousness for several minutes after the accident, and suffered a concussion, according to his legal action.
A doctor who gave evidence on Thursday morning said the plaintiff was left with a traumatic brain injury that ‘completely changed his life’.
Dr Alina Fong, a neuropsychologist, said Sanderson had been ‘struggling with concussion symptoms for a year and a half’ when she first saw him in May 2017.
She said Sanderson reported symptoms, including ‘mood and personality changes, pain as well as headaches’.
Asked whether there was any sign that he was faking his symptoms, Dr Fong said there was ‘none whatsoever’.
The accident on a beginners’ slope took place while Paltrow was skiing with her family.
Sanderson’s lawyers said the Hollywood actress and lifestyle influencer was uphill on the slope and slammed into him from behind, with his injuries providing evidence of this.
Her defence team say she had started descending the slope when a man crashed into her back.
They have focused on Sanderson’s medical conditions prior to the collision, including loss of hearing and vision from a stroke.
Paltrow is seeking $1 in damages plus attorneys’ fees.
Source: DailyMail UK