The Australian judge presiding over a KFC poisoning lawsuit has ordered the American-owned fast food chain to pay the family of a brain damaged girl $8.3 million.
In 2005, Monika Samaan, then 7-years-old, shared a Twister chicken wrap at one of the chain's Sydney outposts. She, her brother and her parents were subsequently hospitalized with salmonella poisoning. They quickly recovered, but she remained in a coma for six months and now lives her life as a quadriplegic.
The family filed the KFC poisoning lawsuit after the chain determined Monika was entitled to no compensation, reports the Herald Sun. They say they bought and shared a chicken wrap, but MSNBC reports that KFC refuses to admit this fact. The restaurant says it has no record of the family buying the wrap on the day they fell ill.
This did not stop the judge from ruling in Monika Samaan's favor. He apparently heard evidence at trial about disturbing hygiene practices at the restaurant, notes MSNBC.
For some, $8.3 million may seem like an excessive award. If this suit had been filed in the U.S., the Samaans might have been awarded just as much. The KFC poisoning lawsuit is based on negligence, which means the family would have been able to collect damages for pain and suffering; loss of consortium and enjoyment of life; past and future medical expenses; lost wages and household services; and a whole host of other things.
Given the fact that Monika Samaan will need incredible attention and care for the rest of her life, the amount really isn't all that unreasonable.