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Family of Steven Cozzi files lawsuit against suspect accused of killing him

Jul 21, 2023

LARGO, Fla. — The family of a missing Largo attorney filed a lawsuit against the doctor accused of killing their son.

In March, Largo Police said Steven Cozzi reported to work at Blanchard Law in Largo. He went to use the restroom and never returned to his desk, leaving behind his wallet, car keys and cell phone.

Police located blood and the strong smell of cleaning products in the men's restroom.

According to a civil lawsuit filed in Pinellas County, Cozzi's family is suing the doctor accused of killing him. Dr. Tomasz Kosowski was arrested on a first-degree murder charge and remains in jail.

The family is also suing MH Belcher Property, LLC, which owns and manages the building where Cozzi worked as an attorney. Blanchard Law leased the space from MH Belcher Property, LLC, according to the lawsuit.

Stephen Barnes, an attorney with Barnes Trial Group, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Cozzi's family.

"Crimes like this are crimes of opportunity and whether you own a home, you own a business, whether you own a restaurant, you can't provide opportunities for people to come onto your property and do things like that," said Stephen Barnes.

The lawsuit alleges Kosowski used an unsecured utility closet and used supplies he stored there during the murder.

Barnes said the property owners failed to correct or take action after a suspicious incident earlier in March. An employee at a vet clinic discovered a male unknown to her hiding in a utility closet.

The lawsuit stated when the employee confronted the man, he said that he was investigating a power outage and walked out of the closet.

"We believe, based on what we’ve learned, he was scoping out the property looking for opportunities, figuring out how he was going to do this, and what he was able to discover is a few feet away from the men’s room where this occurred, there was an empty utility closet that actually is unsecured and unlocked. I’ve seen it. I’ve been in it shortly after this happened. The door had a deadbolt on it, and sometime in the past, the deadbolt was removed," said Barnes.

The lawsuit also alleges the property owners failed to notify tenants about the suspicious incident.

"When police are called out on your property, and there's a case opened and a case number assigned, and this is what's found in a room in one of your buildings, you either are aware, we believe they were, or they should have been aware," said Barnes.

ABC Action News reached out to the defendants listed in the lawsuit, including an attorney for Kosowski, but has not heard back yet.

Barnes said the suspect and victim were tied together in a civil lawsuit. Cozzi was representing prior patients of Dr. Kosowski.

Authorities have not located Cozzi's body but believe it may have ended up in a Collier County landfill.

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