Paltrow’s defense grills doctor over post-ski crash travels as trial nears end
The retired optometrist suing Gwyneth Paltrow was grilled by her legal team Wednesday over the many physical activities he engaged in while traveling the world after their 2016 ski collision.
Paltrow’s lawyers called 76-year-old Terry Sanderson back to the witness stand in the final hour of their last full day to introduce witnesses.
They submitted several images as evidence of Sanderson on trips around the globe while questioning the plaintiff whose attorneys claimed he suffered traumatic brain injuries from the crash at Utah’s Deer Valley Resort that reportedly left him unable to enjoy his pastimes.
The Facebook photos and posts presented in court showed Sanderson riding a camel in Morocco, trudging up to Machu Picchu in Peru, ziplining and bike riding, hiking with his girlfriend, doing Zumba, playing mini-golf, exploring an escape room and more — all after the ski crash with Paltrow.
“Did you go to Peru?” Paltrow’s lawyer Steven Owens quizzed Sanderson, according to the Independent. “Walk the Golden trail? […] Did you do a zipline? […] Did you go to Europe? […] Did you go to the Netherlands three times? […] Rode bikes? Did bus tours?”
Sanderson answered yes to each of the rapid-succession questions.
According to the evidence, the retired doctor visited the Netherlands three times, Morocco twice and Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Thailand, Peru and Costa Rica all at least once since 2016, the outlet reported.
Earlier in the trial, Sanderson’s team had a medical expert and family members testify that he could no longer enjoy his normal, active lifestyle due to the injuries he suffered in the crash.
A neuroradiology specialist said Sanderson showed signs of brain damage that changed his behavior and personality.
The retired doc no longer did many of the activities he loved doing before the accident and struggled to maintain relationships with loved ones, his defense said.
“Terry had been a high-functioning, active person,” Dr. Wendell Gibby told jurors last week. “Every day he was doing lots of things. Meeting groups, wine tasting, skiing, volunteering. After the accident, he deteriorated abruptly and many of the activities he loved to do, he stopped doing.”
Paltrow’s team also called on several experts to testify Wednesday.
They claimed Sanderson’s deteriorating cognitive abilities were caused by aging, not the skiing accident.
They even said his mind was on the decline years before the crash with the star.
Upon cross-examination, Sanderson’s own attorneys sought to prove that his travels were part of his recovery efforts and a desire to return to his normal routine — which often included trips across the country and world.
“Have you always travelled in your life?” his lawyer Kristin VanOrman asked her own client.
Sanderson said he has, at least since he retired.
“Have you ever told this jury, or tried to insinuate in this trial, that you couldn’t travel?”
“Absolutely not,” the former doctor answered, according to the Independent.
“Looking back on that time, I was determined to prove I didn’t have any mental issues,” he told the court. “Everything I did was to stamp that in my record, that this guy is trying hard.”
Sanderson said despite the smiley photographs he posted on social media, he “struggled” during many of those excursions.
“I couldn’t go by myself anymore, and I found that out the hard way when [my girlfriend] Robin decided that she didn’t like me anymore after five years,” he added, according to the publication.
The former MD claimed that Paltrow, 50, was skiing recklessly when she crashed into him from behind — but Paltrow said Sanderson crashed into her.
Sanderson is seeking $300,000 in damages from the famous actress, who filed a countersuit for $1 in damages as well as the cost of her legal fees.
Both parties are expected to present their closing arguments Thursday. After that the eight-person jury will begin deliberations.
With Post wires