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CA Court of Appeals Denies 'Desperate Housewives' Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

September 4, 2012

Vincent Howard has been following the latest developments in the high profile 'Desperate Housewives' wrongful termination lawsuit, which has remained in the spotlight over the past two years, after actress Nicollette Sheridan filed a wrongful termination and retaliation lawsuit against executive producer and show creator Marc Cherry--for allegedly killing off her 'Desperate Housewives' character after she filed a complaint that Cherry stuck her on the head while they were rehearsing a scene for the show.

As Mr. Howard previously reported in a Santa Ana employment attorneys blog, the highly publicized trial ended in a mistrial in March of this year, after the jury failed to reach a verdict, with a retrial date set for September 10, 2012. ABC's attorneys then proceeded to file an appeal arguing that Sheridan should not have the right to sue for wrongful termination, as she was not wrongfully terminated--instead her contract was not renewed.

On March 31, an appeals court issued a temporary stay on the retrial, stopping Sheridan from continuing the wrongful termination lawsuit, but allowing her to amend her complaint. The attorneys from both sides were reportedly ordered to return in July to engage in settlement talks with a new judge.

According to the latest California appeals court ruling, Sheridan was not wrongfully fired from the popular television show in violation of public policy, because she was not discharged, terminated or fired. The 2nd District Court of Appeals decided that Sheridan's employment ended after the fifth season because ABC and Touchstone Television decided not to renew her contract after 'Edie Britt,' her character, was killed on the show.

The court decided that this barred Sheridan from receiving a new trial for her wrongful termination lawsuit--however, the court did rule that Sheridan should be able to file an amended retaliation lawsuit. Sheridan's attorney claims she was fired 60 days after she complained about being hit by Cherry, and that the decision to kill off her character was made after the complaint was filed. During the trial earlier this year, Sheridan's claims of battery against Cherry were thrown out by a judge, who stated at the claims did not meet the standard proof for battery.

Sheridan earned around $4 million per year on her last season playing character Edie Britt on 'Desperate Housewives.'

In Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, and Irvine, California, contact Howard Law, PC's Vincent Howard today.

Nicollette Sheridan's 'Desperate Housewives' wrongful termination lawsuit tossed, On the Red Carpet.com, August 16, 2012

'Desperate Housewives' Lawsuit: Nicollette Sheridan Not Fired, The Huffington Post, August 16, 2012

Related Web Resources:

California Department of Industrial Relations, (DIR)

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'Desperate Housewives' Retrial Date Vacated, Settlement Talks Ordered With New Judge, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 28, 2012

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LA Judge hears from Mystery Witness, Throws out Battery Claim in "Desperate Housewives" Wrongful Termination Lawsuit, California Employment Lawyers Blog, March 13, 2012

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