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Seattle nurse gave flu shot instead of birth control- When State Court Plaintiff Lawyers Sue the Federal Government

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Date Published

January 21, 2021


Washington State Association for Justice




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A federal judge has awarded over $10 million in a wrongful birth case United States v. Pacheco, litigated by EAGLES Mike Maxwell and Steve Alvarez. The verdict benefits the future care of a severely disabled child born because a nurse at a Seattle community clinic negligently gave the mother a flu shot instead of her quarterly birth-control injection. Lawsuits against the United States government are full of traps for the unwary. State court lawyers who think that federal court is merely a change of scenery are in for a surprise. Attorneys Maxwell and Alvarez tell a cautionary tale about negotiating the minefield to get to the money when suing the federal government, in a federal courthouse, defended by the federal department of justice, before a federal judge.

Topics to Include:

  • Pre-filing a FTCA claim.
  • What is wrongful pregnancy, wrongful birth, and wrongful life, and what damages are allowed? 
  • How did the court justify denying the Plaintiff’s motion where the defendant admitted to injecting the patient with a flu vaccine in lieu of birth control? 
  • Is it foreseeable that a woman who seeks to prevent all pregnancies would have a genetically defective child?
  • Experts: Liability & Damages.
  • Getting to trial: no easy feat.
  • Should you humanize the plaintiff when the audience is a federal judge?
  • Unique federal challenges with a future life care plan.

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Michael Maxwell
Maxwell Graham

Mike Maxwell has an unusually wide breadth of experience as a lawyer. From assisting in prison reform and death penalty cases... Read More

Steve Alvarez
Alvarez Law

Steve Alvarez graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelors Degree in Economics. Steve began practicing law in... Read More

Tony Robinson

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