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Ellen, Lawyer, Consultant
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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I live in Illinois. Its likely that I will end up having

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I live in Illinois. It's likely that I will end up having to file a medical malpractice suit against 3 veterinarians (all of whom practice in Iowa). Iowa doesn't award punitive damages in this type of case - however, Illinois (occasionally) does.

If it a suit is filed, and because I am an Illinois resident, can the judicial process take place in Illinois (in its entirety) - or will it have to be in the state where the veterinarian(s) practice?
*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.*


Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do whatever I can to answer your questions!

In order to for Illinois to have jurisdiction, the veterinarians must have a sufficient nexus to the State of Illinois. This means that the service must have been rendered in Illinois or the veterinarians regularly practice in the State of Illinois.

I would be glad to respond to any follow-up questions that you may have.
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Thank you for the positive rating. It has been my pleasure to work with you.

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Best regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What are the Federal (and State of Iowa) Record Retention Requirements (record retention schedule) for veterinarians? Additionally, what is the definition of a "medical record" for veterinarians?

Background: An Animal Emergency Hospital in Iowa performed a thoracocentisis on our dog; shortly thereafter, she died. When we arrived at the hospital, the vet told us that she had withdrawn approx. 22 cc's of fluid from the chest cavity. When I asked for the lab/pathology analysis of that fluid, (3 months afterwards), I was told that the vet should have given us the vial when we arrived at the hospital (approx. one hour after her death), and also told us that if we wanted it tested, our vet would have to do it. That discussion never took place, with the end result being that the hospital discarded the fluid sample, without our knowledge or permission.


The Hospital Administrator maintains that the fluid sample was their property - not ours; consequently they did not need our permission to dispose of it. She claims that because the sample was not sent to the lab for analysis, it was not a medical record. Is that true?

Thank you for your new question. Unfortunately I am not familiar with the record retention laws for Illinois veterinarians. I suggest that you open a new question page so that another expert can assist you