A jury recently found that Gwyneth Paltrow was not at fault for a ski accident with a man who brought a negligence lawsuit against her. After Terry Sanderson filed his lawsuit for $300,000 in damages, Paltrow countersued for a symbolic $1, along with attorney fees. Sanderson’s attorney claimed that Sanderson’s symptoms from the accident have persisted for years, and Sanderson “never returned home that night as the same man.” Paltrow’s defense team, however, painted Sanderson as obsessed” with the lawsuit, overstating his injuries from the accident. Both parties blamed the other for the collision.
The lawsuit stems from a 2016 accident at a Utah ski resort, during which Paltrow and Sanderson collided on a beginner ski slope. The question of fault turned on causation, specifically which party was higher on the ski slope when the accident occurred. Sanderson, who broke four ribs and sustained a concussion, accused Paltrow of skiing recklessly and barreling into him from above. On the other hand, Paltrow claimed Sanderson struck her from behind. From either point of view, whoever was higher on the slope caused the collision. Ultimately, the jury found Paltrow was not to blame, leaving the ultimate amount in attorney fees Sanderson must pay to the judge.
How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault in a Ski Accident?
The lawsuit against Paltrow highlighted a key point about the right of way on ski slopes, akin to the “rules of the road” among skiers. As the lawsuit revealed, downhill skiers almost always have the right of way. As a result, uphill skiers have a duty to scan the slope and avoid crashing into downhill skiers. Downhill skiers, of course, cannot see the skiers behind them on the slope, meaning this responsibility falls onto skiers positioned higher on the slope. Additionally, skiers have a duty to stay in control and aim to stop on the slope to avoid other skiers. If a skier fails to follow these rules, they may collide with another skier, resulting in injuries to both parties. Unlike many traffic rules, however, the right of way on ski slopes is often absent from the laws on the books in a particular state. Instead, these rules reflect a code of conduct among skiers, which ski resorts may or may not post near the ski slopes. As a result, a person who suffers injuries in a ski accident may benefit from discussing their case with a personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can help a jury or judge understand the right of way among skiers to establish that their client was not at fault for the accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Maine Ski Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Maine ski accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates to discuss your case. Our attorneys possess years of experience bringing Maine personal injury lawsuits in a variety of practice areas. Through our skilled representation, we can develop a legal strategy to help you win compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team, call 800-804-2004 or reach out through our website.