A federal appeals court denied a motion Tuesday by MGA Entertainment to temporarily halt the hotly contested Bratz trial over alleged racist remarks made by a juror.


The Van Nuys toy maker asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the trial being conducted in U.S. District Court in Riverside while the panel considers an appeal of a ruling by trial judge Stephen Larson that a mistrial was not warranted.


Larson ruled last month that the trial could continue despite a remark made by a juror during deliberations about MGA Chief Executive Isaac Larian, an Iranian Jewish immigrant.


The trial is currently in the damages phase. The 10-member jury found July 17 that former Barbie designer Carter Bryant conceived of the Bratz characters and name while still employed by Barbie maker Mattel. The jury also held that MGA had interfered with Bryant's employment contract with Mattel.


In a two-page decision released Tuesday, the appellate court said that MGA has "not demonstrated that this case warrants the intervention of this court." However, the panel is still considering the broader appeal.


Representatives from Mattel and MGA were unavailable for an immediate comment.

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