'Housewives' lawsuit back in court on Sept. 10

A new trial has been set for former “Desperate Housewives” actress Nicollette Sheridan in her $5.7 million wrongful termination suit against Touchstone Television.

After a jury deadlocked in reaching a verdict last month, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White set a new date of Sept. 10 while still urging the sides to come to a settlement.

Sheridan claims she was dropped from the show in 2009 after complaining about an incident in which “Housewives” creator Marc Cherry struck her on the head during a discussion about a script. Cherry said he merely gave her a tap as part of direction for a scene. The jury was deadlocked 8-4 in Sheridan’s favor before White declared a mistrial.

In setting the new trial date, White rejected Touchstone’s motion to summarily dismiss the case. She also declined to issue sanctions against Touchstone’s attorney, Adam Levin. Sheridan’s attorneys, Mark Baute and Patrick Maloney, had sought the sanctions, arguing that Touchstone’s efforts to dismiss the case were “frivolous” and had already been rejected multiple times by the court.

Levin had argued that White can issue a “directed” verdict in cases where there is “no evidence of sufficient substantiality.” Sheridan’s attorneys pointed out that during the trial, some witnesses offered testimony conflicting with that of others supporting Touchstone’s claim that the decision to kill off Sheridan’s character was made before the September 2008 on-set incident between Cherry and the actress.

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