High court rules in favor of tycoon’s secret children

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Oct 03, 2012 - Page 3

The Taiwan High Court ruled yesterday that three children of the late tycoon Wang Yung-ching (王永慶), although born out of wedlock, had blood ties to him and were therefore entitled to a stake in his inheritance.

Yesterday’s ruling ratified the decision of the Taipei District Court, saying Wang’s legitimate children could appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Winston Wang (王文洋), the eldest son of the Formosa Plastics Group founder, reached an out-of-court settlement in May with the three.

Winston Wang admitted the trio were his father’s children and both parties made a confidential agreement.

The three — Lo Wen-yuan (羅文源) and his sisters Lo Hsueh-chen (羅雪貞) and Lo Hsueh-ying (羅雪映) — filed a request with the district court in September 2010 for recognition of their blood ties to Wang Yung-ching, who died in New Jersey in October 2008.

During the first and second trials, Wang Yung-ching’s legitimate children refused to provide DNA samples to facilitate the court proceedings.

However, the courts used other methods to determine that the three were born around the time their mother, Lin Ming-chu (林明珠), and Wang Yung-ching were living together in 1952 and 1953.

The High Court ruling said evidence obtained by the court proves Wang Yung-ching’s relationship with the trio and includes gold bars that Wang gave to them. Wang Yung-ching often dined with them when they were children and Lo Wen-yuan had been meeting his father for 30 years.

Lo and his sisters also produced evidence that Wang Yung-ching reared them as they grew up.

According to the ruling, the three had stated that they had been willing to live without “official recognition” from Wang Yung-ching in consideration of his social status and had been satisfied with “private and low-profile” contact with him.

The court ruling could lead to an inheritance settlement with Wang’s legitimate children. Local newspapers estimated the trio could receive NT$1 billion (US$34.47 million) each.