No new trial in ‘Desperate Housewives’ case

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No sequel is on tap for the court case in which “Desperate Housewives” star Nicollette Sheridan claimed unlawful termination in violation of public policy stemming from an incident of alleged assault. Sheridan filed suit in April 2010 under the accusation that Touchstone Television Productions LLC fired her for her complaint that she was assaulted by producer Marc Cherry in September 2008. Cherry, in turn, retorted that the alleged assault was just a light tap on the head and that the decision to end Sheridan’s contract was unrelated.
Last month, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern said he would vacate his January 29 order to grant a new trial after a jury originally encountered a deadlock and mistrial two years ago. Stern was ordered by the California Court of Appeal to vacate lacking any cause to revive the case, and he said that a briefing by Sheridan had not convinced him that that order should be appealed. In October 2013, Stern had granted Touchstone’s revived motion to dismiss the suit’s remaining claim.
An August 16, 2012 court filing reads: “Decisional law does not allow a plaintiff to sue for wrongful termination in violation of public policy based upon an employer’s refusal to renew an employment contract. … Sheridan cannot pursue a cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy because contrary to what she claims, she was not fired, discharged or terminated. Instead, Touchstone chose only not to exercise its option to renew her contract for the next season.”
The case is Nicollette Sheridan et al. v. Marc Cherry et al., case number BC435248, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

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