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KFC guilty in Australia salmonella brain damage case

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Published : 2012-04-22 11:00
Updated : 2012-04-22 11:00

An Australian girl who suffered severe brain damage and was left paralysed by food poisoning won a court case against fast food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken, in a judgment published Saturday.

Monika Samaan was seven years old when she suffered salmonella encephalopathy -- a brain injury linked to food poisoning that also left her with a blood infection and septic shock -- in October 2005.

Several other family members also fell ill and they claimed Samaan's injuries, which include severe cognitive, motor and speech impairment and spastic quadriplegia were caused by a KFC chicken Twister wrap.

She went into a coma in hospital and was so ill last rites were given.

The Supreme Court ruled in the family's favour, finding that her sickness was caused by "a KFC Twister... consumed predominately by Monika and in lesser quantities by her family."

Justice Stephen Rothman said the chicken became contaminated "because of the failure of one or more employees of KFC" to follow proper preparation rules, which he described as "negligent".

"There is some evidence, which I accept, that some employees were unaware of the full consequences of a breakdown in the system that was to be implemented," Rothman said in his judgment.

"Nevertheless, the conduct of the employee was negligent and KFC, as the employer, is vicariously liable for the negligence."

An internal review of standards at the store in the months before Samaan's illess assessed them at "breakdown" level, with particular criticism of hygiene and food preparation, Rothman said.

Though compensation will be determined in a separate hearing Rothman described the now wheelchair-bound Samaan's injuries as being of a type and severity that were "most rare".

"She is now intellectually disabled, is unable to function independently, she needs total care and she will be unable to live a life filled with normal activities, relationships, milestones and achievements," he said.

"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."

KFC said it would appeal the decision.

"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 KFC Australia spokeswoman Sally Glover.

"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." (AFP)

 

<한글 기사>

"KFC 트위스터 먹고 뇌손상"…濠 남성 승소

호주의 한 남성이 세계적 패스트푸드 체인 K FC를 상대로 낸 1천만 달러 규모의 소송에서 승소했다.

22일 호주 언론에 따르면 올해 14살된 소녀 모니카 사만의 부친인 아만윌  사만 은 7년 전 시드니 서부의 한 KFC 매장에서 당시 7살이던 모니카가 일종의 치킨랩인 '트위스터' 메뉴를 먹은 뒤 살모넬라균에 감염돼 심각한 뇌손상을 일으켰다며 KFC를 상대로 소송을 냈다.

사만 씨는 "당시 트위스터를 나눠먹었던 나와 아내, 모니카, 아들 아바누가  음 식을 먹은 뒤 모두 구토와 설사 증세를 보였으며 그중 딸 모니카는 심각한 뇌손상 증세를 보여 제대로 걷지도 못하게 돼 특수학교에 다니고 있다"며 KFC를 상대로 1천 만 달러 규모의 손해배상청구소송을 제기했다.

시드니가 주도(主都)인 뉴사우스웨일스(NSW) 최고법원의 스테판 로스만 판사는 지난 20일 "KFC가 판매한 음식을 먹고 장애를 일으킨 사실이 인정된다"며 원고 승소 판결을 내렸다.

KFC 측은 즉각 로스만 판사의 판결에 불복해 항소할 뜻을 비쳤다.

KFC 오스트레일리아 관계자는 "NSW 최고법원의 판결에 놀라고 실망했다"며  "사 만 씨 가족에게 발생한 불행한 일에 대해서는 유감스럽게 생각하지만 우리에게는 또 한 안전하고 양질의 음식을 제공하는 기업으로서의 명성을 수호할 책임이 있다"고 말했다.

 

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