Nicollette Sheridan Denied Retrial in 'Desperate Housewives' Termination Case

Issue 25 REP Nicollette Sheridan - P 2013
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Issue 25 REP Nicollette Sheridan - P 2013

Nicollette Sheridan won't be heading back to court after all for her allegations that Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry assaulted her and ABC wrongfully fired her from the show.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned the decision by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to retry the case, City News Service reported. In the January ruling to retry, judge Michael Stern reversed his Nov. 5, 2013, judgment that the case would be dismissed without leave to amend or be reconsidered.

That ruling was in error, the appellate court's three-justice panel found. On Aug. 1, they ordered Stern to vacate his order or show why his decision was valid.

Sheridan sued Cherry, ABC and affiliated Touchstone in April 2010, alleging that her Housewives character was killed off in an April 2009 episode because she had complained to ABC that Cherry struck her on the head during a rehearsal in September 2008. The suit initially included claims of sexual harassment, assault and wrongful termination and over $20 million in alleged damages. In pretrial phases, it was trimmed to just wrongful termination and battery, and a judge ruled Sheridan could only collect one year's salary at $4 million.

It ended with a jury deadlocked 8-4 in Sheridan's favor in a trial against only Touchstone. A California appellate court later found that the trial judge should have issued a different verdict and suggested Sheridan refile under California's labor code. She did, but Stern disallowed the case, ruling that she had filed her claims too late.

Stern then ordered a new trial, but Touchstone's attorneys claimed his ruling on Nov. 5 meant he had no jurisdiction to hear her request for reconsideration. Now, the 2nd District appellate court has agreed.

Attorneys for Sheridan and for Touchstone did not immediately return requests for comment.

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