According to the New York Daily News, a California judge has granted a new trial to former Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan, who claims that she was fired after the show’s producer on the set hit her in the head following an argument.
Sheridan filed a $20 million wrongful termination lawsuit against show creator Marc Cherry and Touchstone/ABC, the studio that produced the show, following an alleged September 2008 argument on the set. The original case resulted in a mistrial, but a California judge ruled that the lawsuit could be retried.
In the first trial, jurors deadlocked at 8-4 in Sheridan’s favor. The actress reportedly was making $4 million per year working on the show. The appellate judge ruled that the trial judge should have issued a directed verdict in favor of Cherry and the studio, because the actress was not fired outright and was instead dumped after her contract was not renewed following the series’ fifth season, according to the Daily News.
Last October, a judge also denied Sheridan’s request for a new trial, saying she had failed to present her grievances to the state Labor Commission within six months of the alleged 2008 incident. However, the same judge reversed himself last week, allowing for a new trial.
Desperate Housewives aired on ABC from 2004 to 2012.
How Do I Know If I Have Been Wrongfully Terminated?
California is an “at-will” employment state, so employers can discharge employees for any reason, other than reasons that specific federal or state laws prohibit. There are laws that prohibit violence at the workplace and voicing concerns over illegal activities.
An employee has a right to legal protection when it comes to employer retaliation. When an employee reports an incident at work to officials within a company, the employer cannot terminate the employee for his or her concerns.
If you have experienced a wrongful termination, you may be able to file a lawsuit for compensation. Our Los Angeles employment attorneys can help you decide whether to move forward with your case. Call our office today to schedule a consultation at (310) 273-3180.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys
Did You Know? A wrongful termination occurs when an employee has been fired or laid off for reasons that violate his or her legal rights.