Monika Samaan's family has been awarded $8 million in damages from fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) after a chicken wrap left her permanently in a wheelchair and severely brain damaged.
"The compensation ordered is very much needed," family attorney George Vlahakis told the press. "Monika's severe brain damage and severe disability has already exhausted the very limited resources of the family."
In 2005, Monika and her family were dining at KFC in Sydney, Australia when she became ill with salmonella poisoning. She and her brother both ended up in the hospital, but Monika was left significantly worse than her sibling. She was only seven years old at the time and is now 14.
Her age and growth have made it increasingly difficult for her parents, Vlahakis 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 explained.
KFC plans to contest the ruling and have stated their disapproval of Justice Rothman's decision.
"We believe the evidence showed KFC did not cause this tragedy, and, after reviewing the judgment and seeking further advice from our lawyers, we have decided to appeal Justice Rothman's decision," the company said in an official statement.
The fast-food chain is under attack here in the states as well, with a former KFC manager in Oregon alleging "that the owner of his franchise not only ordered employees to serve expired chicken, but also that employees who refused to do so were fired," reports the Consumerist.
That manager, the plaintiff, was fired for "arguing with leadership" and "not creating an environment of team work with leadership and owner," the chain contends. Yet he states he was fired for not "serving rotten chicken to families anymore."
He is seeking unspecified damages.