By: Alexandra Bourbon
I hope we can all remember the witty and suspenseful show, Desperate Housewives, a TV series that centered around four housewives after the supposed suicide of one of their dear friends. Well now there’s more drama, but this time to an actress on the show and not merely her fictional character.
Nicollete Sheridan, who fans will remember as Edie Britt, the neighborhood flirt, waged a lawsuit against the show’s creator, Marc Cherry.
This case continued from a 2008 incident between Sheridan and Cherry where Cherry allegedly hit Sheridan after a heated argument. While Sheridan did not press charges after the alleged incident, she did file suit against Cherry once her fictional character was killed off in the show. After this ended in a mistrial, Sheridan then filed another lawsuit claiming Touchstone violated Labor Code Section 6310. The code can be found here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=LAB§ionNum=6310
This California statute basically explains that an employer cannot retaliate against an employee if they make a complaint regarding employee safety or health. The ruling focuses on subdivision (b) of the code and explains that this section “permits an action for damages if the employee is discharged, threatened with discharge, or discriminated against by his or her employer because of the employee’s complaints about unsafe work conditions”- p. 2.
The ruling can be found at the end of this Hollywood Reporter post: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/judge-tosses-nicollette-sheridans-desperate-housewives-lawsuit-967423
However, the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Kendig sided with Touchstone’s argument (that Sheridan did not prove that she made a formal complaint about working conditions).
– Alexandra “Alexa” Bourbon, J.D. candidate 2017, Tulane University Law School.