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KFC appeals 8m payout for infected chicken wrap

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram It was a KFC Twister Chicken Wrap that ended the chance of a normal life for Monika Samaan. In October 2005, seven-year-old Monika had gone to a KFC restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Villawood along with her parents, Amanwial and Hanna Samaan and brother, Abanou. Tragically, the chicken wraps and other items they shared were infected with salmonella. After the meal the whole family had to be hospitalised after they started vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea. While the rest of the family recovered, Monika suffered salmonella encephalopathy – a type of brain injury directly associated with food poisoning. Monika Samaan became so ill she lost the ability to speak. She will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. After coming out of hospital, Monika and her family filed a lawsuit against KFC, which they finally won after a seven-year battle in the NSW Supreme Court. In April this year Justice Stephen Rothman found in favour of Monika, ordering KFC to pay the Samaan family $8.3 million in compensation, to be used for her lifelong medical care. KFC vowed to appeal the case and last week the fast-food giant’s lawyers were true to their word, filing a formal appeal in the NSW Supreme Court. The appeal is based on three assertions: that there had been; a ‘failure to consider evidence’ during the initial hearing, an ‘error in the judge’s factual findings’, and mistakes over the weight given to certain evidence. Miss Samaan is in danger of losing part of, or possibly all, her compensation. Fairfax Media has reported that KFC is trying to force Miss Samaan to pay its legal costs from her 2009 court hearing, which are expected to amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The company has always denied it was responsible for Miss Samaan’s brain damage but during the initial court hearing, poor hygiene practices were revealed at the Sydney store where the family purchased their debilitating meal. Miss Samaan’s lawyer, George Vlahakis said this week that it was clear the company would use all its resources to continue its appeal against the court decision. Through Vlahakis, the Samaan family hit back at KFC’s appeal submission, saying they were ‘an amorphous restatement’ of what had been said during the trial. “KFC fought the case for six years in court and the hearing of the case was spread over twelve months. They put up every conceivable argument they could and the court found against them,” said Mr Vlahakis. “Now they want to fight all of the facts of the case again.” Vlahakis described KFC’s appeal as having a devastating effect on Monika and her loved ones. “All that the family asks for now is that KFC abide by the court’s decision, so that they can get on with looking after Monika and safeguarding the future of their 14-year-old daughter.”last_img read more