Gwyneth Paltrow trial judge explains verdict: ‘This is based on the law’

Paltrow was not held liable for her role in a skiing accident and was awarded a token $1 in a counterclaim in addition to her legal fees.

After an eight-day trial in a Utah court, Gwyneth Paltrow was found not liable for injuries sustained by retired optometrist Dr. Terry Sanderson suffered in a skiing accident in 2016. Now one of the judges has chosen to publicly explain how the day’s second biggest news story was decided.

In a new interview with ABC News, Samantha Imrie — a nurse who served as juror #11 in the trial — explained that the jury was able to make its decision within hours of the conclusion of testimony. Imrie said she found Paltrow’s testimony compelling and never felt the mostly retired actress was dishonestly lagging behind.

“I had in mind that this woman is an actress… I took that into account,” Imrie said. “But I didn’t feel like she had any reason to lie under oath. She’s always in the spotlight, so she always has to be honest.”

The jury added that they were particularly impressed by the testimony of Dr. Irving Scher, Paltrow’s expert, who analyzed the crash from a scientific point of view, was convinced.

“He’s a snow sports expert in many ways,” she said. “I think the fact that Dr. Scher could talk to the settings and he studied snow science specifically that he had a stronger opinion.”

Imrie explained that the jury felt Sanderson’s claims that the skiing injury had affected his quality of life had been weakened by the travel he had enjoyed in the months since the accident. What the jury saw as a lavish lifestyle made it seem less plausible that Paltrow had ruined his life.

“I think I wrote something like, ‘I need to make more money so I can travel this way,'” she said. “I didn’t think he was capable of those things based on the picture he painted.”

Finally, Imrie stressed that the jury’s decision on Paltrow was not influenced by her celebrity status.

“I think it’s important that the public doesn’t just think that this was a win because Gwyneth is a celebrity,” she said. “This is based on evidence and this is based on the law. I work in medicine and you have to look at everyone the same way. That should also apply in the courtroom.”

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