Lawsuit Claims Girl, 7, Suffered Brain Damage After Eating KFC

Kentucky Fried Chicken is at the center of a $10 million legal battle after a 7-year-old girl was brain damaged by salmonella poisoning.

Her parents are seeking damages from the local arm of the chain store, Yum! Restaurants Australia.

The case, due to start in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Thursday, comes a week after two Sydney KFC stores were fined more than $73,000 and convicted of 11 charges of breaches of food hygiene laws after an investigation by the state's food authority.

Monika Samaan collapsed and was rushed to hospital with her mother, father and brother Abanoub, 11, who all shared a ‘Chicken Twister' from a KFC store in the Sydney suburb of Villawood on October 24, 2005.

Monika, now 11, suffered from salmonella encephalopathy and salmonella septicemia that developed into acquired spastic quadriplegia that left her with substantial liver and brain damaged.

"As a family we have gone through a lot of struggles," her father Amanwial Samaan said Sunday.

"She loved swimming, riding her bikes and was the best in her class at school. Now she cannot do anything. It's been three years and nothing. They have taken no responsibility."

On the night she ate the ‘Chicken Twister,’ Monika complained she couldn't finish her meal so she shared it with her older brother and parents.

The next morning the family fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea. The next day Monika collapsed and all four were rushed to hospital by ambulance.

Medical specialists found Monika, her parents and older brother had a common strain of salmonella.

Yum! Restaurants Australia spokesman Nick Bryden said NSW food authorities had concluded there was no link between KFC Villawood and the illness.

"KFC's supplier also confirmed that routine tests showed that the chicken supplied to the store contained none of the alleged strain of salmonella," Bryden said.

"At the time Monika fell ill no other customers at the store lodged any complaints."

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