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Nicollette Sheridan's wrongful termination suit thrown out

Nicollette Sheridan arrives at a Los Angeles court for her 'Desperate Housewives' wrongful termination case on March 5, 2012.

August 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Nicollette Sheridan's wrongful termination lawsuit against Touchstone Television Productions was thrown out because the former "Desperate Housewives" actress was not fired from the show, according to court documents.

An appeals court ruled on Thursday that the actress was not wrongfully fired from the ABC show. The court said Sheridan can, however, pursue claims that she was retaliated against for complaining that the show's creator Marc Cherry struck her.

According to the ruling, which agreed with Touchstone and ABC, Sheridan's contract was not renewed. It also added that the actress must pay for costs incurred by the company during the appeals proceedings.

During production of season 5, Touchstone informed Sheridan that it had decided not to continue her contract into season 6, saying her character, Edie Britt, would be killed in a car accident. Touchstone did not exercise its option to keep Sheridan - they did not fire her. This is why the actress will not be receiving a new trial on her wrongful termination suit, the court said.

Sheridan can go on and file an amended suit claiming Cherry retaliated against her for complaining about the battery by not renewing her contract, although her damages would be limited to her salary losses.

Sheridan received $4.2 million on her last season on the show. She was also paid for appearances and other show-related obligations. Also, her attorney, Mark Baute, argued that she had recently received a raise and a share of the show's profits but fell out of favor with Cherry and other show executives after complaining about his conduct.

The 48-year-old actress first brought the case to court in April 2010 and was awaiting a re-trial on her claim that she was fired after complaining that Cherry struck in the head during an on-set argument.

Cherry and ABC denied the claims, and a judge threw out the battery claim against Cherry. In March, jurors deadlocked after a two-week trial on her wrongful termination allegations, with the panel siding eight votes to four for the actress.

"Desperate Housewives" concluded its eight-season run this year.

Disney is the parent company of Touchstone Television Productions and ABC7.

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