Fast-food giant KFC has been ordered by an Australian court to pay $8.35 million to the family of a Sydney girl who became disabled after eating a KFC Twister chicken wrap.
Monika Samaan, then 7 years old, and her family became ill from salmonella poisoning after sharing a chicken wrap they purchased at a Sydney KFC. The rest of the family reportedly recovered from the illness but it sent Monika to coma for months and left with brain damage.
Monika, who is now 14, is currently confined to a wheel chair and unable to speak.
On Friday, a judge of the Supreme Court of the state of New South Wales awarded the $8.35 million damages plus legal costs after ruling last week that KFC was responsible for the food poisoning.
In a statement, the family's lawyer George Vlahakis said they were relieved the 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. "
He added: "The compensation ordered is very much needed. KFC have to date been determined that Monika does not receive a cent."
Meanwhile, more recent reports say KFC is deciding to appeal the verdict.
"We feel deeply for Monika and the Samaan family," a spokesman for KFC said. "However, we also have a responsibility to defend KFC's reputation as a provider of safe, high-quality food."