Touchstone Television Productions v. Superior Court: Touchstone’s Decision Not To Renew Nicollette Sheridan’s Employment Contract Does Not Give Rise To Wrongful Termination


by Sayema Hameed

Does an employee have a legal cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy if an employer decides not to exercise an option to renew the employee’s contract?  The answer, according to a new California Court of Appeal opinion, is no, an employee whose employment contract is not renewed does not have a wrongful termination claim.

This case involves a famous employee, actress Nicollette Sheridan of Desperate Housewives fame.  The case is Touchstone Television Productions v. Superior Court (Nicollette Sheridan) (Second District, Div. Four, Case No. B241137; filed 8/16/12).

Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals: Doctor Who Loses Hospital Privileges Does Not Have To Exhaust Judicial Remedies Before Filing Lawsuit Under Whistleblower Law


by Sayema Hameed

Is a doctor who claims that he lost his hospital privileges in retaliation for being a whistleblower required to “exhaust his judicial remedies” by pursuing judicial review of the hospital’s decision before he can file a separate whistleblower lawsuit under California Health and Safety Code Section 1278.5?

In a new case,  Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals (Fifth District, Case No. F063023; filed 8/14/12), the California Court of Appeal has answered this question: No, the doctor does not have to exhaust judicial remedies through writ proceedings first.  The doctor can directly bring a lawsuit against the hospital for whistleblower retaliation.