The blonde beauty launched a $6 million (£3.75 million) legal battle against the TV drama’s creator Marc Cherry and executives at Touchstone Television Production after claiming her character, Edie Britt, was killed off because she complained to producers about an altercation between herself and Cherry, during which the writer/producer allegedly struck her.
Cherry and the TV heads testified in court that the decision to axe Sheridan’s character was made months before the alleged incident, and a battery charge against the writer was dismissed.
The Los Angeles jury could not reach a unanimous decision and in March (12), Judge Elizabeth White declared a mistrial.
Sheridan’s legal team was due to present its case again at a retrial on 10 September (12), but on Friday (01Jun12), officials at the California Court of Appeals issued a “writ of mandate”, appearing to suggest that Touchstone executives should have won the case based on a key precedent in California law, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
They referred to 1997’s Daly vs Exxon, in which it was ruled that employees whose options are not picked up cannot sue for wrongful termination.
As a result, they declared Sheridan’s retrial date would be “stayed pending further order of the court” – but the actress’ lawyer, Mark Baute, is adamant that that does not mean they will not get their second chance to take the case to trial.
Instead, Baute is planning to rework the case as a labour code violation, as advised by the Court of Appeals, and believes the retrial date will be reinstated once his new papers are filed.
He tells Eonline.com, “The order reflects the court of appeals’ desire to have the September 10 trial focus on the Labor Code Section 6310 claim…
“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.”