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KFC told to pay $8 million to stricken Australian girl's family

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Fast-food chain KFC has been ordered to pay A$8 million ($8.3 million) in damages to the family of an Australian girl who was left severely brain damaged and in a wheelchair after being poisoned by a chicken meal.

In 2005, Monika Samaan, then aged seven, her parents and her brother were hospitalized with salmonella poisoning after eating a "Twister" chicken wrap at a KFC restaurant near Sydney.

KFC, owned by Yum! Brands , said it was a tragic case but was "deeply disappointed and surprised by the decision" and would appeal against it.

Last week, a New South Wales Supreme Court judge ruled in favor of the family, saying KFC had breached its duty of care to the girl. On Friday, it awarded the family A$8 million in damages, as well as court costs.

Australian media quoted their lawyer, George Vlahakis, as saying the girl's illness had "exhausted the very limited resources of the family".

"The compensation ordered is very much needed," Vlahakis said.

($1 = 0.9642 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Paul Tait)

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