Gwyneth Paltrow will get only $1 in ski-crash trial, forgoing recovery of legal fees

A woman leans over in a courtroom to speak with an older man.
Gwyneth Paltrow speaks in March with Terry Sanderson, the man who sued her unsuccessfully over a skiing accident.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

It’s final: Gwyneth Paltrow will get $1 from her ski-accident trial and not a penny more.

Even though she won at trial, the actor and wellness magnate agreed not to recover any attorney fees that she paid to successfully defend against claims that she was at fault in a 2016 ski collision with retired eye doctor Terry Sanderson in Park City, Utah, according to a court ruling filed over the weekend and obtained by The Times.

Judge Kent R. Holmberg upheld the jury’s unanimous decision in finding the Oscar-winning actor not to blame in the Deer Valley Resort skiing collision.

“The jury found that Gwyneth Paltrow was not at fault,” Holmberg wrote in the ruling. “The jury found that Terry Sanderson was 100% at fault, and that he caused Gwyneth Paltrow’s harm.”


The former doctor’s lawsuit, filed in 2019, originally sought $3 million in damages, but that request was ultimately reduced to more than $300,000. Paltrow, 50, had filed a countersuit seeking $1, which the 76-year-old Sanderson must now pay, according to the ruling.

The eight-day trial was broadcast live, and its key moments created buzz online. There was Paltrow’s lament of losing “half a day of skiing” when questioned about the reason for her counterclaim against Sanderson. Some laughed at the Goop founder’s comment for being out of touch.

Then there was the moment when Paltrow attempted to provide treats for the bailiffs, which the judge did not allow. Others zoomed in on Paltrow’s courtroom fashion. Many fixated on cringey-sweet exchanges between one of Sanderson’s attorneys, Kristin Vanorman, and Paltrow, who peppered each other with compliments during questioning.

Gwyneth Paltrow, who is accused of negligence in a 2016 ski collision with a man at the Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, testified Friday.

March 24, 2023

Behind these memorable and meme-able moments were attempts by Sanderson’s attorneys to cast the “Shakespeare in Love” and “Ironman” star as an entitled celebrity who was fleeing responsibility. Paltrow’s attorneys, meanwhile, painted Sanderson as the one chasing a celebrity, trying to wring money from a successful entrepreneur.

“I felt that acquiescing to a false claim compromised my integrity,” Paltrow said in a statement after the March 30 verdict. She and her legal team said in separate statements that the countersuit had more to do with her principles than with the dollar amount at stake.

As Paltrow left court, she touched Sanderson’s shoulder and said, “I wish you well,” Sanderson told reporters outside the courthouse. He said he responded, “Thank you, dear.”

After the verdict, Sanderson’s attorneys said they were weighing whether to appeal the case or to file for a new trial. However, the court’s ruling showed that Sanderson agreed “not to appeal the verdict or file any post-verdict motions.”


Terry Sanderson cried while recounting the crash and the aftermath of his collision with Gwyneth Paltrow during Day 5 of the ski-collision trial in Park City, Utah.

March 27, 2023

The Associated Press contributed to this report.