University of Utah and Zhifan Dong’s Family Announce $5 Million Settlement

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University of Utah and Zhifan Dong’s Family Announce $5 Million Settlement

By Steven Jensen
February 21, 2023

The University of Utah and the family of Zhifan Dong have reached a settlement agreement. Representatives from the University of Utah and the family of Zhifan Dong, through their attorneys at Parker & McConkie, have agreed to release the following Settlement Agreement:

Statement From Junfang Shen and Mingsheng Dong

The parents of Zhifan, Junfang Shen and Mingsheng Dong, issue the following statement (translated to English):

One year ago, we lost our sweet daughter, Zhifan Dong, and continue to miss her every day.  A beautiful and capable young woman, she was tragically separated from us eternally in an instant.  She was our only child and the only grandchild to four grandparents.  It breaks our child pass away before us [revised as “It breaks our hearts to have ourchild pass away before us.”].  Looking back on the past, she was a person with so many respectable traits.  She won the praise and trust of her classmates and friends, the love and care of her relatives.  Although her life was short, in these short nineteen years, she lived a rich and fulfilling life.  In everyone’s eyes, she was a good child who was loving to her parents and respectful to her elders, a good friend who treats her friends with sincerity, and a young woman full of self-motivation.  She had lived, had loved, had been happy, and had been blessed.   Her short life on earth was not in vain. 

Zhifan Dong with her parents Junfang Shen and Mingsheng Dong

While we continue to mourn Zhifan’s death, we are grateful to take this important step toward justice for our daughter.  We express thanks to the University and President Taylor Randall for his leadership in acknowledging our loss and working with us toward a resolution with urgency and compassion. It is our hope that Zhifan will be remembered and that her memory will inspire others to help prevent intimate partner violence and save lives on campus and in all our communities. We hope she will inspire other victims to seek help and to leave their abusers.

We cherished our precious Zhifan as our “Pearl in the palm” or the “apple of our eye”.  To this day, we sometimes feel that she is still alive and well, still living among us.  As if we were still in a dream, we hoped that it was really a dream. However, she has indeed left us. We can’t believe it, and we don’t want to believe this fact. The loss makes us very sad, leaving us only endless sadness and longing, and too many regrets.  When we shed tears and choked up over the pictures of our daughter, her lovely smiling face and familiar voice replayed in our minds over and over again. We know that she has never gone far, and she is in our hearts.

Statement of Junfang Shen and Mingsheng Dong, Parents of Zhifan Dong (Mandarin)

一年前,我们失去了可爱的女儿董芷帆,我们每天都在继续想念她。 一个美丽又能干的少女,却在一瞬间悲惨地与我们永远分离。 她是我们唯一的孩子,也是四个祖父母的唯一孙子。 我们的孩子先于我们去世,这让我们心碎。 回想过去,她是一位具有许多值得尊敬的特质的人。 她赢得了同学朋友的称赞和信任,亲人的爱护。 她的生命虽然短暂,但在这短短的十九年里,她过着丰富而充实的一生。 在大家眼里,她是一个孝敬父母、孝敬长辈的好孩子,一个以诚相待的好朋友,一个充满上进心的少女。 她活过,爱过,快乐过,幸福过。 她在地球上的短暂生命并没有白费的。

在我们继续哀悼芷帆之死的同时,我们很感激能为我们的女儿迈出这重要的一步,为她伸张正义。 我们对大学和校长泰勒(Taylor)的领导表示感谢, 承认我们的损失并与我们一起努力以紧迫和同情的方式解决问题。 我们希望人们记住志凡,并希望她的记忆能激励其他人帮助防止亲密伴侣暴力, 拯救校园和我们所有社区的生命。 我们希望她能激励其他受害者寻求帮助并离开施虐者。

我们珍惜宝贵的芷帆为我们的“掌上明珠”或“眼里的苹果”。 时至今日,我们有时会觉得她好好地活着,仍然生活在我们中间。 仿佛还在梦里,我们希望那真的是一场梦。 然而,她确实已经离开了我们。 我们无法相信,也不愿相信这个事实。 失去她让我们很伤心,留给我们的只有无尽的悲伤和思念,还有太多的遗憾。 当我们看着女儿的照片流下眼泪、哽咽时,她可爱的笑脸和熟悉的声音一遍又一遍地在我们脑海中回放。 我们知道,她从未走远,她就在我们心中。


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