The ruling ends the closely watched celebrity trial, four years after the first lawsuit was filed and seven years after the skiing accident in question.
Gwyneth Paltrow will not recover the legal fees she paid to successfully defend herself against a lawsuit brought by a 76-year-old retired optometrist who claimed she was to blame for meeting him at a posh Utah ski resort in 2016.
In a final verdict released Saturday, a Utah judge upheld the jury’s unanimous verdict that Terry Sanderson — the man who clashed with Paltrow — was “100% at fault.” fees for District Judge Kent Holmberg to decide.
The verdict said Paltrow would not seek attorneys’ fees and Sanderson would not appeal the verdict, effectively ending a lengthy legal battle seven years after the two crashed at a beginner’s run near the base of Utah’s Deer Valley Resort.
Representatives from both Paltrow and Sanderson were not immediately available to answer questions about the final verdict or the money at stake. Neither side has publicly disclosed how much it cost to fight a year-long legal battle involving a team of attorneys, experts from the United States and, for Paltrow’s side, high-definition animated recreations of their memories of the crash.
The eight-day court battle between the “Shakespeare in Love” star and the “Iron Man” star last month turned out to be the most closely watched American celebrity trial since actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard faced each other last year. Sanderson’s lawsuit charged Paltrow with negligence and crashing into him from behind, and then left the scene of the accident without ensuring he was in good physical condition. He was seeking more than $300,000 in damages — a threshold in Utah civil court that allows parties to present the most evidence and file the longest list of witnesses.
Paltrow then countered the token $1 and legal fees — claiming Sanderson drove into her from behind and sued to take advantage of her fame and notoriety.
Under the glare of the court’s live TV cameras and close scrutiny from fans and critics alike, Paltrow sat intently in the Park City courtroom throughout last month’s trial and testified that at first she thought she was being “hurt.” ”
After the verdict, Sanderson’s attorneys said they were considering whether to appeal the case or request a new trial. Paltrow and her attorney said in separate statements that the counterclaim had more to do with their principles than the dollar amount at stake.
“I felt that agreeing to a false claim was jeopardizing my integrity,” said the founder and CEO of beauty and wellness brand Goop.