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Terry Sanderson, the man suing Gwyneth Paltrow for 2016 ski crash, testifies in civil trial

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ABC/Christopher Willard

Terry Sanderson, the man who accused Gwyneth Paltrow of crashing into him while skiing more than seven years ago and leaving him seriously injured, took to the stand Monday to testify in the civil trial over the 2016 accident.

This is the first time Sanderson, a retired optometrist, has testified in the trial. He first filed a complaint against Paltrow in January 2019.

Sanderson recounted his recollection of the incident, insisting that he was downhill while Paltrow was uphill, saying, “There was nothing in front of me.”

Sanderson said he recalled hearing a “blood-curdling scream” before he “got hit in my back so hard.” The next thing he remembered, he said, was that “everything is black.”

“I tried to move, and I could not move a limb. I couldn’t move my head. I couldn’t move my body,” he said. “Nothing was responding.” He claims to have suffered a brain injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries in the crash.

Paltrow insists it was Sanderson who “skied directly into my back,” in what she testified Friday was a “full body blow.”

Her attorneys had claimed Sanderson’s suit was an effort to exploit her celebrity and wealth. That came up in the trial Monday, when he was pressed by the Oscar winner’s attorney about an email he sent to his daughters after the crash, in which he said, “I’m famous.”

“I really was trying to add a little levity to a serious situation, and it backfired,” he testified.

In an amended complaint filed in February 2019, Sanderson changed the value of damages he is seeking in the lawsuit from $3.1 million to $300,000.

Paltrow filed a countersuit, stating she is seeking “symbolic damages” of $1 plus costs for lawyers fees from Sanderson for defending herself against “this meritless claim.”

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