Melbourne: An Australian court on Friday ordered the fast food giant KFC to pay 8 million Australian dollars to the parents of a Sydney girl who was left paralysed and brain damaged after eating its chicken twister.
Monika Samaan fell seriously ill with salmonella poisoning after eating at the Villawood KFC in 2005, according to media reports. The then-seven-year-old was in a coma for six months and acquired spastic quadraplegia with severe brain damage.
A New South Wales Supreme Court judge on Friday ruled KFC will have to pay 8 million Australian dollars plus legal costs after the lengthy litigation case.
KFC denied it was responsible for the poisoning and said it will appeal the decision. In a statement, the restaurant said the case was clearly tragic but they were "deeply disappointed and surprised" by Judge Rothman's decision.
"We believe the evidence showed KFC did not cause this tragedy and, after reviewing the judgement and seeking further advice from our lawyers, we have decided to appeal Justice Rothman's decision," KFC Australia's chief corporate affairs officer Sally Glover said.
The family's lawyer George Vlahakis said the costs of caring for the severely disabled girl had already exhausted "the limited resources of the family".
He said they were relieved the court battle was over. "Monika's severe brain damage and severe disability has already exhausted the very limited resources of the family," he said.
"Monika is now a big girl and they are finding it increasingly difficult to lift her and to look after her basic needs as well as look after Monika's younger siblings. The compensation ordered is very much needed."