The Supreme Court yesterday remanded to the Taiwan High Court a case in which the latter had previously ruled that three alleged children of Wang Yung-ching (王永慶) born out of wedlock had blood ties to him and were therefore entitled to part of his inheritance.
The Supreme Court said that determining whether Lo Wen-yuan (羅文源) and his sisters, Lo Hsueh-chen (羅雪貞) and Lo Hsueh-ying (羅雪映), are the late tycoon’s children requires further examination.
In October last year, the High Court ruled that the three were fathered by the Formosa Plastics Group founder and so had the right to claim a stake in his inheritance. Wang’s legitimate children appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.
Prior to the High Court’s decision, Winston Wang (王文洋), the eldest of Wang Yung-ching’s sons, reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the Los in May last year in which he admitted that they were his father’s offspring.
In September 2010, the trio filed a request with a district court to be recognized as having blood ties to Wang Yung-ching, who died in New Jersey in October 2008.
During the first and second trials, the former Formosa chairman’s legitimate children refused to provide DNA samples to facilitate proceedings. The courts used other methods to determine the three were born around the time that their mother, Lin Ming-chu (林明珠), was living with Wang Yung-ching during 1952 and 1953.
The High Court said evidence, including gold bars that Wang Yung-ching had given to the Los, were proof that he had a relationship with them, adding that he had also often dined with them when they were little and that Lo Wen-yuan had met with the late tycoon regularly for 30 years.
If the High Court’s initial ruling is upheld, it could force the legitimate Wang children to reach a settlement with the Lo siblings. Newspapers have estimated that the three could receive as much as NT$1 billion (US$34.47 million) each.