Seattle woman sues clinic for getting flu shot, instead of birth control injection

by: Maria Guerrero Updated:

Loading

SEATTLE - A Seattle woman claims a big mistake made by staff at a Seattle community clinic left her with a flu shot instead of a birth control injection.

The woman says the federal government needs to pay for her unwanted pregnancy.
           
Yesenia Pacheco loves her 3-year-old daughter, Sandra.

But her third child was not only not planned, but also, Pacheco claims, Sandra was born because of the negligence by employees at NeighborCare Health in Seattle.

>> Maria Guerrero hears from Pacheco for KIRO 7 News at 6 p.m. 

A civil lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court against the government, given the clinic is federally funded.

Pacheco was getting the Depo-Provera birth control injection every three months at the clinic.

On some visits, the lawsuit claims, the clinic failed to maintain adequate charting by sometimes not noting Pacheco had been receiving the shots at all.

In September 2011, Pacheco says she scheduled her next birth control injection.

Her lawsuit claims she got a shot, but not that one.

Instead, she got a flu shot.

Her attorneys have a chart showing where she was billed for the influenza injection.

Nearly three months later, Pacheco went back to the clinic for another birth control injection, only to be told she had received a flu shot instead on her previous appointment.

A pregnancy test at the clinic turned up positive.

"I asked what happened,” said Pacheco, in Spanish. “They said you are 2 1/2 months pregnant. You don't have to have it. You won't have to pay anything."
           
Undergoing an abortion was not an option for Pacheco, given her personal beliefs.

She says she always communicated effectively in Spanish with staff, but the doctor told her she didn't know how the "miscommunication" happened.

"The manager said, 'What do you want me to do? Fire them?'" said Pacheco.

After a difficult pregnancy, Sandra was born in 2012 with a brain malformation affecting motor and speech called unilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria.

Pacheco's attorneys Steve Alvarez and Mike Maxwell say the clinic's failures should legally be considered the cause of the Sandra being born into a "wrongful life”…“as a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s negligent acts and/or omissions to perform the medical care with due care.”

"She loves the child, but she was put in a position she did not want to be in," said attorney Mike Maxwell.

Sandra's parents now have to administer medication to avoid seizures twice a day.

They are suing for an unspecified amount, they say, for medical bills and pain and suffering.

"It's hard. I already have two girls. I didn't want anymore," said Pacheco.

KIRO 7 repeatedly asked NeighborCare Health Clinic on North 45th Street for comment for days. The clinic responded our calls late Friday afternoon.

NeighborCare Health Mark Secord said they "are aware of the situation" involving Pacheco and "feel great empathy for her."

The clinic didn't know about the lawsuit until Friday.

They are "an organization that puts safety first and are very focused on patient safety." They will "learn from this situation" but cannot speak further since it is a lawsuit. 

Pacheco’s attorneys are waiting for answer on the lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Pacheco did not get the flu.

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.