Transcript for Gwyneth Paltrow is expected to testify in her own defense in 2016 ski crash case
- Gwyneth Paltrow was back in court today over a 2016 ski crash. A retired doctor claims the actress slammed into him on the slopes, causing serious injuries. But Paltrow tells a different story. Senior national affairs correspondent Deborah Roberts has more on this new tension in the courtroom.
DEBORAH ROBERTS: As the real-life courtroom drama unfolds--
PHOTOGRAPHER: Good morning.
- Good morning.
DEBORAH ROBERTS: --day two brought new tension in the case of Paltrow versus Sanderson. The retired optometrist suing the Oscar-winning actress, claiming she violently crashed into him during a 2016 family ski trip in Park City, Utah. Paltrow's attorney, Steve Owens, immediately addressing a courtroom violation.
- Your Honor, we have a new camera pointed directly at my client right there.
DEBORAH ROBERTS: Owens saying there were agreed upon photography rules prior to the start of the trial.
STEVE OWENS: This has been a problem. For instance, reporters being in front of my client's car going out yesterday.
DEBORAH ROBERTS: The actress-turned-entrepreneur defending herself in the civil lawsuit in a Utah courtroom. Attorneys for Sanderson saying Paltrow toppled over him, causing him to break four ribs and suffer a head injury. Paltrow's lawyers arguing that Dr. Sanderson is to blame for the accident and that he had several pre-existing medical conditions before the collision.
- If he and the jury sides with what his theory of liability is, she could be on the hook for the damages of the $300,000. If she should win, then she's only seeking a nominal dollar in her countersuit.
DEBORAH ROBERTS: Sanderson's lawyer calling to the stand doctors who tended to him, saying medical records indicate the then 69-year-old suffered a severe concussion, testifying that his brain was in good condition before the accident. That doctor showing a 2017 MRI scan of Sanderson's brain and x-rays of his rib fractures.
- What I believe happened is that he was struck from the left side, and that forced him into the ground.
DEBORAH ROBERTS: But another of Sanderson's medical experts suggesting that the damage was more of a mind injury instead of a brain injury and that Dr. Sanderson could return to his normal life much like it was before the accident.
- There's a brain injury, and there's a mind injury. And the mind injury is more emotional or psychological in the sense of what his mind chooses to think about those events and subsequently his life and what's happened.
- This trial is likely to stretch into next week, with Paltrow herself expected to take the stand, which is typical in civil cases. Diane.
- All right, Deborah Roberts, thanks for that. And host at the Law and Crime Network, former homicide public defender, ABC News contributor Brian Buckmire joins me live for more on this. Brian, what do you think of the testimony so far? How strong is Sanderson's case?
- It's been interesting case so far. I think there are still some pieces that are missing, probably the biggest one being Sanderson testifying himself. Right now, it's a he said/she said, where the other person is saying that the other one ran into them. But there are few facts based on the physics of how this occurred and the injuries that are still raising some questions that I think need to be answered.
DIANE MACEDO: Now, the only witness to this crash was Sanderson's acquaintance. What did you think of his testimony?
- Well, I think we almost have to put "witness" in quotation marks because he-- the question is, what did he witness? He's saying that he heard this loud scream, didn't know male or female, turned around. And one version is, turned around in a split second. And the other version is, in a second or two. So what did he see other than these two people tangled up together? He's also colorblind. He also have issues with his vision. And he himself said, when I'm nervous, I get, quote unquote, "dyslexia." So is his testimony to be believed as a star witness?
DIANE MACEDO: Right, because no one's debating whether or not they crashed. It's a question of who crashed into who. What's at stake here for both sides?
BRIAN BUCKMIRE: So for Paltrow, who's only asking for $1, it's kind of like a pro forum. Just, I want to be in here to defend my name. It's $1. For Sanderson, he went down from about $3.2 million to $300,000. But in Utah, the way that it works, it's a very unique negligence claim. It's actually called comparative negligence. So if you, the person who's suing the other one, is more than 50% at fault, you get nothing. And so you have to be less than 50%. And then if the other person is only 30% at fault, that's all you get. So there's a bit of a mathematical equation to this as well as who had done it.
- Got it. All right, Paltrow herself, we're hearing, is going to testify here. What do you expect to hear from her?
- I expect to hear her version of events, that she got crashed into, that she thought this was a minor incident and that's why she walked away, that this was not a hit-and-run, as the judge has already decided and dismissed those charges. And I think you're going to hear an impassioned set of testimony from Paltrow about how she loves skiing, about how this was supposed to be a family event, and how it was ruined not only by this incident, but also the lawsuit that followed afterwards.
DIANE MACEDO: All right, Brian Buckmire, always great to have you. Thank you.
- My pleasure.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.