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Staff from my attorney's office in Sacramento have formally requested my mother's patient records from an Acute Care facility in Oroville, CA. I understand they have a 15 day timeline. Now, it is over 60 days. I have power of medical attorney for my mother and am contemplating an elder abuse case against the facility for a horrible bedsore my mother incurred while under their care last fall. She is currently in the hospital as a result of this unhealed wound. Thank you, K. M.

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Please reread what GardenArtist & plzdnr have posted as there's a lot of insight.

? For you...is the atty actually hired by you with contract & retainer (or agreement) and are they a med mal practice?

If you have hired an atty who does med mal they will have a set format in which details are requested from all parties as this type of litigation is what they do. If they are not med mal, nothing is going to come of this.

Litigation moves s...l...o...w...l..y. Could easily take a year or more. Your atty should contact you with updates and respond to your calls/emails/faxes/letters. If they don't (& you need to keep fastidious records on all this), your state Bar should have some sort of atty/client assistance program for consumers to attempt to get the situation back on track and then a set greivance procedure if that doesn't work. Like TX has the CAAP system for this with specific forms to be done to start the process. Usually you send a fax or letter (registered mail) with very specific questions to your atty formally requesting a response within 7 -10 business days, if no response then State Bar emails or mails a friendly reminder to atty; if still no response, then you do a second request, if no response State Bar sends a formal letter to atty. If no response still, then you file a grievance which is a formal process by the state bar on its member. Usually state bar contacts it's member to tell them a grievance packet has been requested too.
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There is nothing you can do directly with the hospital but you can influence your attorney to light a fire under them. Your attorney is probably the only one at this time that the facility will communicate with since the request for records has essentially put your case "on the radar". Your attorney may not be aware of the time lapse if he/she is busy, so a "just touching base" call would be prudent. Your attorney should be able to file a complaint with the state if nothing else.
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Assuming your attorney issued a subpoena duces tecum for the records, it should be his responsibility to follow up on this. When I worked in med mal, typically the subpoenaed facility's records were copied by an intermediary service, with its primary purpose being to copy records for legal purposes.

I don't know about the 15 day timeline; that must be a CA court rule. In Michigan it could take a month or so to get the records.

Is your attorney specifically a medical malpractice attorney? If not, what is his practice area?

Call your attorney and find out what he's done to get the records. It's his responsibility.
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