Monika Samaan was seven years old when she collapsed and was rushed to hospital with salmonella poisoning after eating a Twister from the Villawood KFC outlet in Sydney’s south west in October 2005.
She has acquired spastic quadriplegia and a profound intellectual disability.
Today, Monika arrived at the New South Wales Supreme Court in a wheelchair (right) as her just over $10 million lawsuit against KFC got underway.
The family’s lawyer, Anthony Bartley SC, told the court in his opening address that Monika had been an extremely bright and active young girl before her illness.
Bartley said there was little doubt Monika’s illness was caused by salmonella on the chicken she ate, adding, "You will hear unsettling and disturbing practices in the kitchen, including the kitchen KFC operated at its Villawood store.”
To keep up with orders and deliver them with speed to customers, KFC’s "young, enthusiastic" staff would frequently help each other out. But by manning different work stations, the staff could easily have transferred bacteria from raw chicken to the cooked product, he added.