Kentucky Fried Chicken is officially responsible for a severe case of food poisoning that resulted in paralysis in a young girl, according to an official court ruling by Judge Stephen Rothman.
The girl in question has been identified as Monika Samaan. She was seven years of age when she contracted salmonellosis from a Twister wrap she ordered at Kentucky Fried Chicken in October of 2005. The infection escalated into salmonella encephalopathy – a brain related complication of salmonellosis – which eventually led to blood poisoning and septic shock. Samaan is now permanently disabled thanks to this infection and its complications, as well as KFC’s negligence.
Family Members Also Became Ill
Several other members of Samaan’s family also became ill after consuming chicken products from the same Kentucky Fried Chicken shop located in Villawood. However, Monika’s illnesses were the most severe, as she suffered impairment related to speech, cognitive function, and motor skills. She also spent a period of time in a coma while in hospital.
The Supreme Court and Justice Rothman ruled in the family’s favor after it was determined that negligent and improper handling of food and failure to observe proper legal guidelines in regards to food safety directly caused Monika’s illness.
However, it is thought that the employees acted out of ignorance, unaware that their actions could cause such a result. The actions in question included dropping food on the ground, throwing chicken around in a joking manner, and handling various food items without safety gloves in place.
The compensation the Samaan family will be receiving is as yet to be determined in another hearing. KFC has also officially announced that it will be appealing the decision of the court.
“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,” said Sally Glover, spokesperson for KFC Australia.
"We feel deeply for Monika and the Samaan family however we also have a responsibility to defend KFC's reputation as a provider of safe, high quality food."