Affectionally known as Koz by fellow lawyers, Mark Kosieradzki sets the bar for elder abuse attorneys. Koz teaches at the AAJ Deposition College along with my law partner Sach Oliver. Together they make quite a team.
Koz is famous for his Deathstar motion. The motion combines three rules for discovery into one motion that requires a nursing home corporation to send a representative to the deposition. Not only is the nursing home corporation required to send a representative but it must also produce documents at the deposition. Koz then grills the representative about other documents that the nursing home corporation failed to produce.
My law partner, Sach Oliver, follows with his famous, umomma questioning of the nursing home representative. “Would you want umomma treated that way?” The representative is left without a place to hide. If he says yes, the jury will paint him as heartless. If he says no, then he is admitting the nursing home was not treating the resident properly.
Recently the Star Tribune featured an article on Koz and the difference he has made in the nursing home industry. Regulators who are supposed to monitor nursing homes to protect the elderly residents are often strapped with fines that are chump change to the billion-dollar industry. What is a fine of $500.00 to a nursing home for short staffing if the home is saving thousands of dollars by not having enough qualified staff to care for the residents.
Koz says that the courts stand as one of the last remaining checks against a senior care industry that collects billions of dollars from taxpayers with minimal government oversight.
Koz once tried a case against a nursing home that allowed a resident to starve to death. On the witness stand, the home’s chief financial officer admitted that its daily food budget, $3.75 per person, was equivalent to the price of three cans of dog food. The jury remembered that when it returned a verdict for the family.
Koz says that sometimes he gets grief from fellow lawyers for what he does, but it takes writing a big check before the people at the top even know what is going on.
-Attorney Mark Kosieradzki is a partner in the Kosieradzki & Smith Law Firm, LLC in Plymouth, Minnesota.