A Florida plastic surgeon sued his former employer. Now he's accused of murdering a lawyer.

A Florida plastic surgeon was arrested Saturday on charges he murdered an attorney who worked at a firm representing his former employer in a lawsuit, police announced.

Tomasz Kosowski, 44, is accused of the first degree murder of Steven Cozzi, who was last seen at his office before being reported missing last week, the Largo Police Department said. Cozzi’s body had yet to be discovered Sunday and the investigation was still underway, police said.

Cozzi was reported missing on March 21. Investigators searched his office and discovered his wallet, keys and phone left behind. They also found his vehicle at the address.

Steven Cozzi was a lawyer at Blanchard Law.
Steven Cozzi was a lawyer at Blanchard Law.

“During the investigation, there was a strong chemical odor in the men's bathroom of the office and small drops of blood,” police said.  “A subsequent forensics investigation revealed a significant amount of blood in the same bathroom."

Investigators said a suspicious vehicle and person had been seen at the office, which led them to obtain a search warrant for Kosowski’s home in Tarpon Springs, near Tampa. Evidence collected there led to his arrest Saturday, police said.

Victim worked for law firm fighting  Kosowski's lawsuit

Cozzi worked for Blanchard Law P.A., a Largo law firm representing the Laufer Institute of Plastic Surgery, where Kosowski worked as a breast reconstruction surgeon from 2016 to 2018.

Kosowski sued the clinic in 2019, alleging its insurance biller did not properly file insurance claims and lied to his patients. The lawsuit alleges the woman’s failure to properly file claims resulted in one of Kosowski’s patients being denied operations to complete her breast reconstruction.

This led the patient to post negative reviews and hurt Kosowski’s reputation, according to the lawsuit, which led to a drop in clientele.

This photo provided by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office shows Dr. Tomasz Kosowski, who was arrested on a first-degree murder charge Saturday, March 25, 2023, by Largo Police, in Florida. The Tampa-area plastic surgeon is accused of killing a lawyer missing since last week from a firm that represents former co-workers the doctor has been suing in a business dispute.

“Dr. K’s promising young career has essentially been obliterated” by the woman’s actions,  the lawsuit says. “Through no fault of his own, his career was put directly in jeopardy and his reputation has been deeply tarnished.”

Cozzi had worked at Blanchard Law since 2018, according to his LinkedIn page. He graduated with a law degree from Stetson University in Florida in 2016.

A hearing was scheduled for Kosowski Monday afternoon, court records show. Kosowski's lawyer Bjorn Brunvand told USA TODAY he pleaded not guilty.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Florida plastic surgeon killed missing lawyer, police say