28 Apr 2012

Salmonella in KFC 'twister' costs $A8 million

5:38 am on 28 April 2012

KFC has been ordered to pay $A8 million to the family of an Australian girl who was left with brain damage after contracting salmonella poisoning.

Monika Samaan's family say she became seriously ill when she ate a Chicken Twister at Villawood KFC, in New South Wales, in 2005.

The then-seven-year-old was in a coma for six months and was left with severe brain damage and spastic quadraplegia.

Both her parents and brother also ended up in hospital after after sharing her twister.

The family's lawyer says the girl's severe disability has already exhausted their very limited resources.

KFC, which was also ordered to pay costs, plans to appeal.

During a month-long trial in 2010, Monika's father told the court he and his wife, along with Monika's brother, also ended up in hospital after after sharing her twister.

A New South Wales Supreme Court judge on Friday ruled KFC will have to pay $8 million plus legal costs after the lengthy litigation case.

The family's lawyer George Vlahakis has issued a statement and said it has been a tremendous battle for the family.

"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 is very much needed.

"KFC have to date been determined that Monkia does not receive a cent."

Last week KFC indicated it will appeal against the Supreme Court decision that found it responsible for Monika Samaan's disability, saying it must uphold its reputation for being a provider of safe food in Australia.

A spokesman for the company says that statement from last week still stands. The spokesman says KFC feels for the western Sydney family but insists it is not responsible for the salmonella poisoning that left Monika Samaan paralysed.