A Seattle woman is set to sue a federally funded medical clinic after she was given a flu shot instead of her regular contraception injection, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy.
Yesenia Pacheco attended NeighborCare Health in September 2011 for her Depo-Provera birth control injection. But when she returned three months later to receive her next dose, she was told she had received a flu shot by mistake.
“I asked what happened [and was told,] 'You are two months pregnant, you don't have to have it, you won't have to pay anything’,” Pacheco said, recalling a conversation with the clinic’s staff, according to KTRK.
However, Pacheco refused to have an abortion because of her personal beliefs.
Pacheco’s third child, Sandra, was born in 2012 with a brain malformation affecting her motor and speech capabilities.
Pacheco alleges in her lawsuit that the clinic kept inadequate records of her injections.
“The manager said, ‘What do you want me to do, fire them?’” Pacheco said, according to KIRO.
Attorneys Steve Alvarez and Mike Maxwell, who are representing Pacheco, say this is a case of “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,” Maxwell added.
Pacheco also explained that while she clearly communicated with clinic staff in Spanish, a doctor later told her that they did not know why the communication breakdown had occurred.
“It’s hard. I already have two girls. I didn’t want anymore,” Pacheco added.
The lawsuit includes claims for medical bills and pain and suffering, but its amount has not been specified.
Sandra’s health condition means that her parents have to administer medication to her twice a day to prevent seizures.
NeighborCare Health noted in a statement that they had been informed about the lawsuit. Concerning Pacheco, the clinic said they “feel great empathy for her.”
The suit is currently being considered by the Department of Justice.