Juror in Gwyneth Paltrow ski collision trial explains verdict: ‘This is based on law’

Following the jury rendering a verdict in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Utah ski crash trial, one of the jurors hit the media circuit on Friday to explain why they voted in favor of the actress and against the optometrist who claimed to be the victim in the case.

(Video Credit: ABC News)

Samantha Imrie, aka juror No. 11, felt that Paltrow was very credible and was telling the truth. She also had trouble with the optometrist’s “distorted” story.

The juror said that she considered that an accomplished actress such as Paltrow could potentially be a convincing liar due to her profession, but in the end, she believed her.

“I think there was, in the back of my mind, yes, this woman’s an actress and I took that into account, but I didn’t feel she had a reason to lie under oath,” Imrie, 31, told ABC News in an interview. “She’s always in the spotlight so she always has to be honest.”

“It’s important that the public doesn’t just think that this was a win because Gwyneth’s a celebrity. I mean, this is based on the evidence. This is based on the law,” she asserted.

Dr. Terry Sanderson’s testimony was another matter for virtually all of the jurors. They did not find his claim that Paltrow had caused the 2016 collision credible and felt it was full of inconsistencies.

“He was telling his truth and I think unfortunately some of that has been distorted due to some other factors, but I do think he did not intend to tell a truth that wasn’t his truth,” Imrie commented.

Sanderson originally sued Paltrow for $3.1 million but a judge ruled that was too much and he reduced the claim to $300,000. He charged that the actress was liable for the crash, his bodily harm, and his “serious brain injuries.”

The jury did not buy his accusations and unanimously ruled in favor of Paltrow on Thursday, finding Sanderson 100% at fault.

A number of things hurt the retired optometrist’s case. One was an email bragging about it, but the most damning piece of photographic evidence showed him traveling the world after the accident. Imrie remarked that it hurt his case.

“I wouldn’t have thought he was capable of those things based on the picture that had been painted,” she stated. “I think I wrote down, ‘Wow, I need to make some more money so I can go travel this way.’”

The eight-day trial was not cut and dry for Imrie. The juror admitted that she changed her mind multiple times over the course of testimony from both sides. But an expert witness who discussed the logistics of skiing won her over to Paltrow’s side.

“He’s a snow sports expert in many different ways. I think the fact that Dr. [Irving] Scher could speak to the [ski binding] settings and he specifically studied snow science, that he had a stronger opinion,” Imrie noted.

The verdict took just two hours and 20 minutes to render and it was a unanimous decision in Paltrow’s favor.

“The whole thing was a little shocking to me,” Imrie recounted, adding that her background as a nurse helped her reach her final decision.

“I do work in medicine and you have to look at everyone the same. So I think that that should apply in the courtroom as well,” she told ABC News.

The accident occurred in 2016. Sanderson waited three years to sue Paltrow over the accident at the Deer Valley Ski resort which also did not help his case.

Paltrow sued for $1 plus attorney and legal fees. That could cost Sanderson hundreds of thousands of dollars.



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