A Well-Earned Jury Win in Utah for Gwyneth Paltrow

Congrats to Gwyneth Paltrow for prevailing in her counterclaim against the retired optometrist who sued her for injuries he sustained in a run-in on a Utah ski mountain back in 2016. Gwyneth sought and received $1 dollar in damages. (The judge will decide whether she also recoups her legal fees).

I watched most of the trial on You Tube. Gwyneth's testimony was confident and credible. No theatrics at all. Perfectly styled with not too much makeup. I thought the lawyer cross-examining her was dreadful. From her oversized, ill-fitting powder blue suit , to her beginning so many questions with a comment about her own life (as if anyone cared, this wasn't about her, her parenting or her marriage) to her her repetitive use of the word "Fantastic" to reply to any "yes" answer given by Gwyneth (which reminded me of the contestants on the Bachelor and Bachelorette who describe every event as "awesome"), she just didn't have it together. [More...]

Perusing the You Tube comments made in real time during the during the first few days of the trial, it seemed the majority were about the terrible lawyering on both sides. The optometrist's main lawyer kept referring to himself as "just a country lawyer". Gwynneth's lead lawyer at least had a personality, but he was often clumsy with words and it seemed like he was battling himself, overthinking each question. His young male assistant saved many a moment by being able to come up with the correct deposition page for challenging prior inconsistent statements and refreshing present recollection. The Judge gently corrected all of them on the proper procedures, which one would think they would know.

Back to Gwyneth: Of course, she has an unlimited purse with which she could pay for all the fancy exhibits, accident reconstructionists and medical experts her lawyers recommended they retain.

I thought the best witness for the optometrist was his perky ex-girlfriend who described how he changed from being a joyous individual who went out every night to being a recluse, incommunicative, uncaring about others and difficult be around, to the point they split up. She clearly was in love with the man he used to be.

His expert testified to his frontal lobe brain injury, but it appears he may have had a pre-existing condition. And if, as Gwyneth maintained, he skied into her and not the other way around, she isn't liable for his four broken ribs.

Gwyneth did not require medical attention. She took the afternoon off from skiing to get a massage.

The trip was special for her. It was the first time she and her boyfriend (now husband) had taken a trip with their respective children, hoping to find the blended family all got along. The mountain resort charged $8,000 a day for the ski lessons, and according to Gwyneth, it was well worth it. They got great instructors. (Gwyneth was following her kids and instructors down the mountain when she got hit from behind.

I really didn't have an opinion about Gwyneth before the trial, other than liking her movies and buying one of her cookbooks. Now, I have a very respectful and positive opinion. Sure, she's an actress, and probably had months of tutoring to prepare her for her testimony, but she nailed it. She came across as an involved and caring parent who went on vacation at a special time in her life, and not only was she victimized in this ski accident, but she gets sued by the clumsy skier to boot who sees dollar signs at the end of the rainbow due to her celebrity.

My one lingering thought is that more people should pay attention to the many signs at ski resorts that say "Ski at your own risk." All sports, even some spectator sports, are risky. Actually engaging in physical sports like skiing at age 75, with awareness that you have diminished mental acuity, is just foolhardy and dangerous to others.

< Donald Trump Indicted by NYS Grand Jury | Sunday Night Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    "$8,000 a day for the ski lessons" (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 31, 2023 at 01:17:26 PM EST
    For 8K/day you'd think they'd be surrounded by the secret service for protection.

    I am not a trial lawyer, but I have been wondering (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 31, 2023 at 04:38:55 PM EST
    how you would cross-examine a highly-skilled professional actor to suggest to a jury that they cannot use their ordinary b/s-detection skills to determine whether the witness is telling the truth.  After all, Paltrow won the Best Actress Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love" ... which I happen to like a lot, despite it being one of the films that made Harvey Weinstein a power in Hollywood.

    I think much of what she testified to (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 31, 2023 at 09:28:30 PM EST
    was supported by the witness's testimony?