Deer Valley Resort is asking a Third District Court judge to drop it as a co-defendant from a skier-collision lawsuit being filed against actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Attorneys for Deer Valley, and its employee, ski instructor Eric Christiansen, are denying allegations that the resort did not assist the plaintiff in the lawsuit, Salt Lake resident Terry Sanderson and that they filed a false report about the collision.
The filing also argues that even if the charges were true, Sanderson can’t file a claim against the Resort for emotional suffering.
As we are reporting, attorneys for Paltrow filed a Reply and Counter-Claim this week, asserting that Sanderson caused the collision and slammed into her.
Sanderson’s lawsuit, launched with a press conference last month, claimed that he was struck by Paltrow, who was skiing out of control.
The suit said that Christiansen and other Resort employees left him without assistance after the accident, that they filed a false report to protect Paltrow, and that Christiansen screamed at the plaintiff, “What did you do?”
But Deer Valley’s motion, filed by local attorney Adam Strachan, said that Sanderson himself signed a form admitting the resort’s Ski Patrol responded to the collision, and transported him by toboggan to a nearby medical clinic.
Even if the allegations were true, the filing said the only claim against the resort is for ‘negligent infliction of emotional distress”. The motion said that under Utah law, that claim cannot be brought unless the resort’s conduct placed Sanderson in actual physical peril.
The filing also said that Utah law sets a high bar. It argued that not just any distressing or emotional incident justifies the claim, and certainly not a skiing accident that happened three years ago.
Finally, it argued that one more bar to the plaintiff’s claim is Utah’s Inherent Risk of Skiing Act. That law explicitly says that collisions are one of the inherent risks.
Along with all the other documents, third District Court Judge Kent Holmberg filed a proposed schedule in the case. That stipulates that after the Discovery periods for each side, a Certificate for Readiness for Trial would be due by early March of next year.