Koskoff firm wins grievance complaint
BRIDGEPORT — One of the state’s top law firms, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, is hailing as a victory a decision Monday by the Statewide Grievance Committee rejecting claims that the lawyers overcharged a Stamford family in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
“We are pleased that the Statewide Grievance Committee rejected the claims of the D’Attilos’ new lawyer that the family was overcharged, or that any misrepresentations were made over the nine-year battle that Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder waged on the family’s behalf,” the law firm stated. “The committee also acknowledged that no change was ever made to the original fee agreement, which was negotiated by the firm and the family’s independent attorney in 2003.”
Howard Altschuler, who represents the D’Attilo family, did not return calls for comment.
The D’Attilos hired the Koskoff firm in March 2003 to represent them in a medical malpractice suit arising out of the birth of their son. The problematic birth, which involved a loss of oxygen, is believed to have led to devastating cerebral palsy in the boy, depriving him of the ability to walk, talk or eat on his own.
Following two trials, the D’Attilos and their Koskoff lawyers reached a $25 million settlement with the insurance company representing a doctor and Maternal Fetal Care, P.C., of Stamford. The settlement came while a judgment was on appeal, and was substantially less than the $58.6 million awarded by the family a Waterbury state court jury in May 2011.
In grievances filed with the Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee the D’Attilos claimed their attorneys conspired to misappropriate $4.34 million in illegal legal fees from the $25 million settlement and then failed to provide proof of more than $600,000 in purported legal expenses.
The grievance committee did reprimand Koskoff lawyer Kathleen Nastri for not retaining paper invoices for several years after the case concluded, a mistake that the committee said did not result in any financial loss to the D’Attilos.