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KFC ordered to pay brain-damaged Australian girl $8 million

Customers walk in to a KFC restaurant during lunchtime April 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.


Kevork Djansezian

KFC has been ordered to pay more than $8 million to an Australian girl left severely brain damaged after eating one of the chain's chicken Twister wraps.

The family of Monika Samaan, 14, sought $10 million compensation from KFC in the New South Wales Supreme Court after she fell ill with salmonella poisoning in Sydney in 2005.

Then aged 7, Samaan had eaten a Twister bought by her father.

KFC denied it was responsible, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, and has indicated that it intends to appeal against the decision as it has "a responsibility to defend KFC's reputation as a provider of safe, high quality food."

The chain has insisted that the evidence did not show its food caused Monika's disability.

Justice Stephen Rothman found in favor of the family last Friday, but only today ordered the fast-food giant to pay the family $8 million in compensation plus legal costs.

More from GlobalPost: Australia: Family of girl brain damaged after eating KFC warns against appeal

SBS quoted Rothman as saying: "The plaintiff has been severely disabled at a very young age and as a result of her injuries, it is clear she will never enjoy the normal life that was expected of her prior to this catastrophic event." 

The family's lawyer, George Vlahakis, said they were relieved by the decision, the BBC reported.

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

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