SAN JOSI, California – Fifth Week of Trial of Elizabeth Holmes, Founder blood test startup Theranos, offered only brief dramatic moments amid long technical boredom.
Miss Holmes fighting 12 counts of fraud for her role in turning Theranos into a $ 9 billion company that collapsed when it was revealed that her blood tests were not working. She pleaded not guilty; if convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison.
Ms Holmes’ reputation as a tech and business prodigy – and a keen interest in her downfall – turned the lawsuit into a media spectacle. But after a month, the details of the case, depending on whether Mrs. Holmes intended to mislead investors, began to drag on.
Although the trial usually takes place three days a week, Friday’s hearing was canceled for Columbus Day. Here are the results of the week.
The former director of the Theranos laboratory falls into the weeds.
Adam Rosendorf, who was the director of Theranos laboratory in 2013 and 2014, testified for six days about the high-tech elements of the company’s inner workings. The jury’s eyes glazed over as they discussed Immunite reagents, Advia machines, immunoassays, vacutainers, and a variety of acronyms such as QC (quality control) and HCG (hormone test).
Even Judge Edward Davila, generally low-key and patrician, hinted at irritation as lawyers on both sides argued about whether Dr. Judge Davila said the defense had already had four days to breach Dr. Rosendorf’s testimony.
Despite the boredom, Dr. Rosendorf’s testimony was crucial to the prosecution’s case. He described repeated cases of Theranos’ irregular and inaccurate blood test results, which he said caused him discomfort and ultimately made him leave. He said he left because “he wanted to join a respected company in whose mission I believed.”
Lance Wade, Miss Holmes’s attorney, attacked Dr. Rosendorf’s testimony, confusing the story. When Mr. Wade pointed out that Theranos’ initial proposals were just a “soft start” for friends and family, downplaying any problems with blood tests, Dr. Rosendorf did not flinch. “These are patients,” he said.
“It was a soft launch for friends and family,” repeated Mr. Wade.
“It was a patient launch,” said Dr. Rosendorf.
The jury was astonished.
On Wednesday morning, before the trial, Judge Davila summoned a jury to the courtroom to discuss Buddhism. The juror, an older Asian woman, said she was increasingly worried about the trial. According to her, her Buddhist practice focuses on love and forgiveness, and it will be difficult for her to vote to condemn Miss Holmes. The juror said that she could not follow the judge’s instructions so as not to think about the punishment.
“What if she had to stay there for a very, very long time,” she said in a broken voice. The juror said he blamed himself.
Lawyers on both sides agreed to fire her.
The new juror, a young woman, had her own concerns. According to her, English was not her first language. “This is her future,” she said of Miss Holmes. “I could be wrong.”
The juror said that she understood everything that was happening at the moment. Judge Davila would not let her go.
Maintaining the unity of the jury throughout the four month trial is essential. In the first week, a juror was fired after learning that her job did not compensate for her time away from home. Every day, Judge Davila asked the jury if they had been exposed to any media reports that might have influenced their views.
A pandemic is also a risk. Despite the fact that all jurors are vaccinated and wearing masks, one day of the trial has already been canceled due to the potential impact of the coronavirus on the jury.
Three alternate jurors remain.
The former Safeway chief executive began his testimony.
Steve Bird, the former CEO of Safeway, on Wednesday began telling the story of Safeway’s partnership with Theranos, which ultimately fell apart.
Mr Burd met Ms Holmes in 2011 and was immediately impressed. He described the promises she made for Theranos technology, testifying that he was delighted to bring fast, cheap blood tests to Safeway grocery stores. People can buy groceries while waiting for results and getting prescriptions from Safeway pharmacies, he said.
The companies have struck a deal for Safeway to invest up to $ 85 million in Theranos, investing, buying its equipment and more. All negotiations were conducted directly with Mrs. Holmes without the presence of a lawyer, which, according to Byrd, was “unusual.”
His testimony will continue next week.