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Family of maid in Shenzhen death fall to shift claim to EC Fund Board

24 January 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Lorain's employer who frequently took her to Shenzhen could no longer be located

Family members of a Filipina helper who fell to her death three and a half years ago in Shenzhen are shifting their money claim to the Employee Compensation Fund Board after their lawyers failed to get hold of the maid’s employer.

Gu Huai Yu, the Chinese male employer of Lorain Asuncion, was a no-show in District Court in the first scheduled hearing of the claim filed against him by the Asuncion family.

It was from the 22nd floor flat of Gu’s father-in-law Liu Heping in Longgang District, Shenzhen, that Asuncion fell to her death in July 2017.
Both Shenzhen and Hong Kong police, as well as a private medico legal in Shenzhen, have ruled out foul play after conducting separate autopsies on Asuncion’s remains before they were shipped to her hometown of Baggao in Cagayan in 2018.

Solicitor Evelyn Tsao of Patricia Ho and Associates, who represented the Asuncion family, said the next recourse of her clients would be to take their claim to the EC Fund Board.

Tsao told Judge Katina Levy they would seek compensation from the Fund Board after exhausting all means to locate, and serve court summonses, to Gu.
The judge set the next hearing for June 5 at the request of Tsao, who said she would prepare the round for shifting the claim to the EC Fund Board.

When asked outside the court how much would the compensation claim be, Tsao said it would be around $30,000.

“But that still depends on the Fund Board, which we expect to defend itself against the claim,” she explained.

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Gu and Liu were arrested on Aug 17, 2017 after they were summoned to the Hong Kong police headquarters in Wanchai, and held on a charge of conspiring to defraud Hong Kong Immigration by claiming that their maid would work only in the territory.

Police reportedly found out that the Filipina had been taken across the border by her employers four times in the nine months that she worked for them.

However, the police dropped their case against the couple on May 7, 2018, citing lack of evidence.

Ten months later, Asuncion’s family suffered another setback when they were informed by the Hong Kong Labour Department in March 2019 that it had not investigated the case supposedly because she died outside Hong Kong.

Eman Villanueva, chairperson of Filipino Migrant Workers Union, blasted Labour’s failure to investigate, saying it “sends the message that once a foreign domestic worker is sent out of Hong Kong to work elsewhere, the employer is no longer accountable to her.”

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