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Monday, July 15, 2024 | Back issues
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‘Desperate Housewives’ Ouster Suit Revived

(CN) - Actress Nicolette Sheridan can continue her wrongful-termination claim against the producers of "Desperate Housewives," a California appeals court ruled.

Sheridan's "Housewives" character, Edie Britt, was written off the show in 2009. Three quarters of the way through Season 5, Edie crashed her car and got electrocuted, but her ghost makes an appearance in a later episode.

Sheridan sued Touchstone Television Productions in 2012, claiming that the real reason she was fired was that she accused show creator Marc Cherry of hitting her.

The British-born Sheridan says Cherry struck her after she questioned a script during a September 2008 rehearsal.

Touchstone demurred to the complaint, claiming that Sheridan had not exhausted her administrative remedies by filing a claim with the labor commissioner.

Though the trial court agreed, dismissing the case in November 2013, that move came one month after the California Legislature had amended the Labor Code to state that the exhaustion of administrative remedies was not necessary.

Sheridan asked for a new trial, but the trial court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction. California's Second Appellate District reversed Tuesday, saying Sheridan can proceed with her case.

"Contrary to Touchstone's contentions, the purported requirement of exhaustion of the administrative remedies under sections 98.7 and 6312 had not been 'finally and conclusively decided by the courts before the 2013 amendments," Justice Thomas Willhite Jr. wrote for a three-person panel.

"Exhaustion of the remedy provided by section 98.7 was not required, and the 2013 amendments simply clarified this point," Willhite added.

He stated that the same reasoning applied to section 6312.

"Sheridan therefore was not required to exhaust her administrative remedies before filing suit," Willhite wrote.

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