Sperm donor’s death in court

By Yan Shuang Source:Global Times Published: 2012-6-20 23:55:06

The father of a medical student who died at a sperm bank shortly after making a donation is suing his son's university for 4 million yuan ($628,972). 

The Wuhan Hongshan District People's Court heard Tuesday that 35-year-old Zheng Gang collapsed and died at the sperm bank that is operated by the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Hubei Province on February 12, 2011.

The university had compensated the family as a "humanitarian" gesture around the time of the man's death.  The school told the court that it had signed a binding agreement with the family and would not offer additional compensation.

The curious court challenge and odd circumstances of Zhang's death have been widely reported in the Wuhan-based Changjiang Times.

The paper on Tuesday reported the hearing, but did not indicate why the family thought it was entitled to millions in compensation even after it had signed an agreement.

Both the university and the newspaper refused to answer questions from the Global Times, claiming a conflict with "overseas forces" prevented them from cooperating, but offering no further explanation.

An employee with the university confirmed yesterday that the school was represented in court on Tuesday.

She said Wuhan police concluded the case last year and declared in the agreement that Zheng had died a sudden death.

"The only reason it's brought up now is because there's been intervention by overseas forces," she said, insisting on anonymity.

Zheng Gang "died suddenly outside the sperm collection room" and the school paid the family 88,000 yuan, according to the agreement signed on the day following his death, the newspaper reported.

Zheng's wife, surnamed Wu, who is also a student at the school, signed the agreement, which also gave her a 20,000-yuan reduction in her tuition this year and help finding a job, the newspaper said.

The newspaper also said the father had demanded an autopsy be conducted on his son but the university refused. The newspaper did not explain how the school had the right to prevent an autopsy from being preformed.

The Changjiang Times refused to provide the Global Times with contact information for Zheng's father. Wuhan police were also unavailable for comment yesterday.

The Hubei Provincial Human Sperm Bank started to officially accept donations in March last year. Zheng had made four previous donations and a pre-donation medical checkup showed he was in good health, the newspaper said.

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