The injuries sustained by a man who collided with actor Gwyneth Paltrow on a ski slope cannot “plausibly” have been caused by him colliding with her, a US court has said.
Retired optometrist Terry Sanderson showed “typical features” of a traumatic brain injury and “deteriorated abruptly” after the 2016 incident at Utah’s Deer Valley Resort.
The Oscar-winning actor is being sued by Mr Sanderson for allegedly “pushing” him from behind, leaving him unresponsive and with several broken ribs.
On the second day of the case, which took place in Park City, Utah, jurors heard testimony from radiologist Wendell Gibby, who examined Mr. Sanderson in the aftermath of the crash.
Dr. Gibby told the court that Mr Sanderson would have “protected himself” if he had collided head-on with Ms Paltrow.
“I think it’s very unlikely that this would have been caused by Terry bumping into Gwyneth Paltrow,” he said.
“Based on the stated testimony of the defendant, from (witness) Craig Ramon, and the pattern of injuries that are present… what I believe happened was that he was struck from the left side and that forced him to the ground.
“The combined weight of the two individuals hitting the ground caused the fracture and head injury.
“I don’t think it would be plausible that if he ran into her he would have broken the ribs on the side of his chest – he would probably have stretched out his arms, he would have protected himself.”
“If he had been the person who encountered her, I don’t think he would have suffered this kind of injury.”
Dr. Gibby added that prior to the incident Mr Sanderson was “a very high functioning, energetic person”.
“But after his accident, he abruptly deteriorated and stopped many of the activities he was doing,” he told the court.
“His personal interactions with his children and grandchildren suffered and he had difficulty multitasking… These are all typical characteristics of someone who has had a traumatic brain injury. I think the ability to function at a high level was lost to Terry…many of the things that gave him joy in life seem to have been abruptly diminished by this injury.”
During the first day of the trial, jurors heard from Mr Ramon, who had been skiing with Mr Sanderson and was present in the aftermath of the collision.
Mr Ramon said he saw a skier, later identified as Paltrow, “bump” into Mr Sanderson and later run down the hill without saying a word. He also said that a Deer Valley employee arrived on the scene shortly after, telling him “your buddy just knocked out Gwyneth Paltrow”.
After a judge dismissed Sanderson’s earlier $3.1 million (€2.8 million) lawsuit, Sanderson amended his claims and is now seeking damages of “more than $300,000”.
Mrs. Paltrow sues Mr. Sanderson for a token $1, claiming that he was the one who bumped into her.
The case continues.