Back in June, Deer Valley Resort, UT asked to be dismissed from the lawsuit where Gwyneth Paltrow is accused of crashing into and injuring a skier. They contended the dispute should be settled between the Oscar-winning actress and the alleged victim, claiming they were protected from responsibilities for skiing collisions under a law that takes into account the inherent dangers of skiing.
Yesterday, Deer Valley Resort was denied its request to be dismissed from the lawsuit. The alleged behavior of a Deer Valley Resort ski instructor who the victim says berated him and didn’t call ski patrol for help “doesn’t qualify as an inherent risk of skiing,” Judge Kent Holmberg said in a written decision.
“The court is not persuaded that the behavior allegedly encountered by Sanderson is the type of risk that a skier would reasonably expect to encounter when skiing,” Holmberg wrote.
Retired optometrist Terry Sanderson claims he suffered severe emotional distress after the instructor skied up to him as he lay face down in the snow, having suffered a concussion after Paltrow allegedly slammed into him. Sanderson’s lawsuit seeks $3.1 million in damages, but he denies he’s suing because Paltrow is a celebrity.
Paltrow said in a counterclaim that Sanderson was actually the one who plowed into her from behind and that he is trying to exploit her celebrity and wealth. She is seeking “symbolic damages” of $1 plus costs for her lawyers’ fees, claiming Sanderson made a “meritless claim.”
The decision means the resort will remain a defendant along with Paltrow in the pending lawsuit.