A Minot woman was awarded $7.65 million in damages after a jury ruled Tuesday that a Lewiston hospital technician failed to identify her cervical cancer.

Ruth Hricko, 63, sued Central Maine Medical Center for medical malpractice in September 2013. The hospital employs the technician.

According to the initial complaint filed in Androscoggin County Superior Court, Hricko underwent routine annual vaginal exams from 2008 to 2011. Although Hricko complained of pain, all the slides came back negative for malignancy.

Hricko’s attorney, Owen Pickus, said the slides were not read properly.

According to the complaint, Hricko had been suffering from early stage cancer since 2008 and it had progressed to stage 3 by 2011.

Through her attorney, Hricko declined to comment. Her cancer is now in remission.


Her attorney called the award, which also includes an additional $2 million in damages for Hricko’s husband, Michael Hricko, one of the largest he’s seen.

Pickus said his client is pleased that it has been recognized that CMMC made a mistake.

Chuck Gill, vice president of public affairs for the hospital, released a statement after Tuesday’s verdict in Androscoggin County Superior Court.

“CMMC is obviously disheartened with the jury’s decision, stands by the care provided to our patients, and will review options for next steps with respect to this case,” the statement read. “The hospital is pleased Ms. Hricko reports she is disease-free almost four years from her initial diagnosis and that she continues to receive care at CMMC.”


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