Gwyneth Paltrow ski crash caused man to lose love of life, court hears

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Day three of the civil lawsuit between Gwyneth Paltrow and Terry Sanderson began with a deposition from Dr Alina Fong. The neuropsychologist told jurors that the accident “completely changed” the retired optometrist’s life and that his injuries were likely to be “long-standing”.

Mr Sanderson is suing the Oscar-winning actress over a 2016 incident at the Deer Valley ski resort in Utah, alleging she crashed into him and caused severe brain injuries. 

Ms Paltrow has denied the claim and is counter-suing Mr Sanderson, alleging it was him that caused the collision. 

Dr Fong said on Thursday that when she first met Mr Sanderson in 2017, he had presented “a myriad” of symptoms indicative of having suffered a concussion. 

She said: “According to Terry’s report, these were quite significantly affecting his life. It was affecting his personal life, his relationships. 

“It affected him on so many levels, especially for someone who was used to loving life… by the time he came to me that was pretty much gone.”

Dr Fong said there was no evidence “whatsoever” that Mr Sanderson was “faking” his injuries and he had been “an ideal patient”.

She added: “Terry showed up to every appointment on time. He gave his best effort – the treatment is very intensive. He was an ideal patient… there was no issue with any of our therapists.

“In fact it was almost the opposite… Terry is a very intelligent man and he didn’t want to be injured… and was willing to do anything he could to change where he was at.” 

Mr Sanderson’s daughter, Polly Sanderson-Grasham, 49, also told the court that prior to the accident her father had been a “fun-loving, gregarious” man.

She said seeing her father around three months after the skiing crash had been like a “slap in the face”.

She said: “I felt like ‘wow’. There was a moment when I almost expected drool to come out of his mouth.

“He wasn’t engaged with anyone… that was my first slap in the face that something is terribly wrong.” 

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Ms Sanderson-Grasham said her father now is “easily frustrated” and is “more cautious, not as confident”. 

Mr Sanderson and Ms Paltrow are both due to take the stand in the coming days, as well as members of the actress’s family. 

The defence is seeking damages of up to $3,276,000 (£2,688,000), while Ms Paltrow’s counterclaim is for one dollar. 

The trial continues. 

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