Valerie Harper is not the first actress whose departure from a TV series wound up in court.
In 1977, Farrah Fawcett quit ABC's "Charlie's Angels" at the end of its first season, saying she did not have a contract and wanted to pursue other career options that had opened up with the show's spectacular success. Spelling-Goldberg Productions filed suit, charging her with breach of contract. The case went to trial in 1978, ending with an out-of-court settlement in which Fawcett agreed to appear in six more episodes.
In 1981, Lynn Redgrave parted company with the CBS series "House Calls." Universal Studios said Redgrave was released at her husband's request because it wouldn't meet her salary demands; Redgrave maintained that the studio wouldn't allow her to breast-feed her baby during working hours, and she took the matter to court, charging wrongful discharge and breach of contract.
A Superior Court judge ruled in February that the case had been resolved, citing a conversation about settlement that had held between Redgrave's husband, John Clark, and a Universal executive. Redgrave disputes that she ever agreed to a settlement and has vowed to press the case further.