A retrial of Nicollette Sheridan's wrongful termination lawsuit against the producers of Desperate Housewives has been delayed indefinitely after an appeals court ruled that a key part of the case should have been previously ruled against Sheridan, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A Los Angeles jury was deadlocked in March about whether Sheridan, 48, was owed approximately $4 million for being wrongly fired from the hit show after she complained she was struck by series creator Marc Cherry. A retrial was set for Sept. 10.
Lawyers for ABC and Touchstone, the network's production arm, subsequently appealed to prevent a retrial and argued that California law prevents an actor or actress from suing for wrongful termination when his or her contract is simply not picked up. Although this was argued unsuccessfully several times earlier, the California Court of Appeals filed a short "writ of mandate" siding with Touchstone and ABC on this matter and pushing the retrial off the schedule indefinitely.
However, the appeals court also suggested that Sheridan could reconfigure her case as a labor code violation. "It is further ordered that the retrial currently set for Sept. 10 is hereby stayed pending further order of the court," the ruling states, according to THR.
In a statement to THR, Sheridan's lawyer Mark Bute sounded determined to keep the Sept. 10 retrial on the books. "The reference to amendment in the order is designed to ensure that happens and the September 10 trial date remains intact. This will all become clearer as the briefs are filed later this summer. It does not change the trial or the trial date, and the temporary stay is designed to clarify and resolve those issues before the September trial starts. It would be foolish for the media to believe that an order which expressly states that the Labor Code 6310 claim should be added means anything more than that, especially at this point. We will file our briefs and move forward accordingly."