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Injured worker's family sues in Foxconn 'threats'

(Shanghai Daily)

08:43, October 31, 2012

THE father of a Foxconn worker left brain-damaged by a factory accident in southern China took the company to court yesterday in a case that heaps more attention on the labor practices of Apple Inc's largest contract manufacturer.

The case involves Zhang Tingzhen, a 26-year-old engineer who had nearly half of his brain surgically removed after surviving an electric shock a year ago.

His case came to light after it was reported that Foxconn sent telephone text messages to his family telling them it would cut off funding for his treatment and other expenses if they did not remove him from hospital in Shenzhen City and submit him for a disability assessment 70km away in Huizhou, where the company says he was hired. But his father, Zhang Guangde, is contesting that and says his son was hired in Shenzhen, not Huizhou, where wages and compensation are substantially lower than in Shenzhen.

A lawyer representing Zhang's family said after a three-hour court hearing that they furnished ample evidence showing that Zhang was hired in Shenzhen.

Foxconn officials were not immediately available for comment.

Doctors removed half of Zhang's brain to keep him alive and he remains in the hospital, unable to speak or walk properly.

His case has raised fresh questions regarding Foxconn, one of the biggest and most high-profile private employers in China, after a series of suicides among its workforce of about 1 million and recent labor unrest.

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