California’s Second District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday (Aug. 16) that ABC and Touchstone Television, which produced the series, didn’t break the law when Sheridan was let go from the show at the end of its fifth season. (Her character, Edie Britt, was killed.)
“Sheridan cannot pursue a cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy because, contrary to what she claims, she was not fired, discharged or terminated,” the ruling reads. “Instead, Touchstone chose only not to exercise its option to renew her contract for the next season.”
A trial over Sheridan’s allegations ended in a hung jury in March. A retrial was to have begun in September, but in June the appeals court delayed the start of the case, saying the lower court should have ruled in the studio’s favor.
The Thursday opinion effectively ends Sheridan’s wrongful-termination case. She can still pursue a claim under California law that bars employers from retaliating against employees who report unsafe working conditions. Sheridan claimed that “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry slapped her on set, and after she complained, he plotted Edie’s on-screen death.