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The Elizabeth Holmes trial: Jurors hear first patient testimony about Theranos blood tests
Trial under way for Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes
Jury selection begins for Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes. FOX Business’ Lydia Hu with the latest.
An Arizona medical assistant testified Tuesday at the criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes that she received two Theranos Inc. blood tests indicating she was miscarrying when she was in fact pregnant—results that her medical provider testified were unlike any she has ever seen in eight years of practice in women’s health.
After the erratic results that patient Brittany Gould received on the key pregnancy marker in October 2014, nurse practitioner Audra Zachman testified, "I felt very uncertain of the validity of the results and felt uncomfortable as a provider" sending more patients to Theranos.
Ms. Gould is the first patient to take the stand, as the proceedings enter the third week of testimony. Prosecutors have so far called three former Theranos employees to help bolster their case that Ms. Holmes defrauded patients and investors by touting that Theranos had developed a revolutionary technology that could test for a range of health conditions using a few drops of blood from a finger prick.
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Ms. Holmes has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In the run-up to trial, attorneys for Ms. Holmes repeatedly sought to keep patients and medical practitioners from taking the stand, arguing that testimony about allegedly incorrect tests they received are merely anecdotal and don’t show Theranos had widespread accuracy problems.
U.S. District Judge Edward Davila disagreed, ruling in May that, "Evidence of even one inaccurate result tends to show that Theranos was producing inaccurate results, even if it does not fully prove the point." At the same time, Judge Davila limited the scope of any patient testimony, ruling that they could only discuss the facts of the inaccurate test and money lost by paying for it, not about any emotional or physical harm that might have befallen them if they had followed the faulty test’s results.
Before jurors came into the courtroom Tuesday, an attorney for Ms. Holmes asked the court for assurance that his ruling would be followed and emotions would be kept out of the testimony. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Leach said he told the patient and medical practitioner about the bounds.