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Gay Man Sues Stillwell Ready-Mix for Bias But Now Faces Dismissal For Failure to Prosecute

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 13 – Michael Cortez, a gay man, sued Stillwell Ready-Mix and Building Materials LLC for discrimination and harassment.  

    Cortez in his complaint says he never came out until the end, but that the company and its owner Vito Gargano "perceived him to be gay because he was known to manage a flower business and... expressively uses his hands."   After Cortez brought his boyfriend to an office party, Gargano fired him, the complaint says.

  On September 9, 2022, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

 But Cortez did not appear. The defense counsel said that Cortez' previous lawyer died in March. Judge Hellerstein set a next conference for October 21 at 10 am and ordered that if neither Cortez nor a new lawyer appear, it will be grounds to dismiss for failure to prosecute.

The case is Cortez v. Stillwell Ready-Mix and Building Materials, L.L.C. et al., 20-cv-7775 (Hellerstein)


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