The widower of tragic actress Adrienne Shelly has lost a civil suit against the company which employed his late wife's killer.

The Unbelievable Truth star was murdered in her New York City apartment in 2006 by Diego Pillco after the actress caught the then-20-year-old worker looking through her purse while taking a break from overhauling her Greenwich Village building.

Pillco, who was employed at Bradford General Contractors, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the crime.

A short time later, Shelly's husband, Andrew Ostroy, launched a legal battle against the construction chiefs for negligence over claims they knowingly hired a man with "a propensity for violence", but the case was thrown out due to a lack of evidence.

Ostroy filed an appeal, but on Thursday (15Nov12), the Appellate Division in Manhattan upheld the earlier court ruling that the contractors could not be held responsible for the star's death.