On Wednesday, the seventh day of the trial over Gwyneth Paltrow's 2016 ski crash with a 76-year-old retired optometrist, her attorneys are anticipated to continue relying heavily on specialists to present their defence.
To provide the jury sufficient time to think and reach a verdict, the judge presiding over the trial in Park City has made it clear that Paltrow's defence team must conclude its case by Thursday afternoon.
Terry Sanderson, the Utah man suing Paltrow, is seeking more than $300,000 in damages, alleging that Paltrow's irresponsibility on the hill caused the accident that left him with four fractured ribs and years of post-concussion symptoms, including forgetfulness, memory loss, and anger. Paltrow has filed a countersuit for $1 and attorney expenses, alleging that Sanderson rear-ended her.
In the second week of the trial, it's evident that both sides have spent little effort to ensure they have a roster of expert witnesses on call in case needed. Many witnesses testified for longer than expected despite severe time limits.
Paltrow's counsel has repeatedly requested that Judge Kent Holmberg clarify the timeframe for the eight-day trial. They changed their minds about cross-examining Sanderson to save time for the four expert witnesses they claimed to have lodged in a nearby hotel on Tuesday.
Like Sanderson's legal team, Paltrow's legal team aims to squeeze all family member, medical, and accident reconstruction expert testimony into four days. They stated on Tuesday that they expected to put four additional experts on the stand but kept the door open to calling Paltrow or her television producer husband, Brad Falchuk, to the air.
Holmberg granted Sanderson's side equal time to present its case.
Last week, Paltrow testified that she was not responsible for the ski collision. Her primary attorney Steve Owens stated earlier in the week that he intended to call Paltrow's teenage children, Moses, 16, and Apple, 18, as witnesses. But, because Sanderson's evidence continued into Monday, Paltrow's legal team instead called her two teenage daughters to the stand to read their depositions.
Paltrow's defence team had relied heavily on expert witnesses over the past two days, but on Tuesday, they read depositions from Paltrow's children into the record. During the testimony of their witnesses, including a crash expert, biomedical engineer, physician, and ski instructor, they attempted to maintain the jury's interest by displaying various high-resolution animations.
The animations were not presented in court as evidence. But, Sanderson's attorneys have objected to their inclusion, alleging that Paltrow's team is misleading the jury with the cartoons.
Although the trial has amused onlookers worldwide who have viewed viral video clips on social media, it has taxed the jury, whose eight members have progressively sunk deeper into their chairs as hours of expert witness testimony have passed.
When both parties have presented their closing arguments on Thursday, the jury will likely render a verdict later that day or on Friday.