Elizabeth Holmes Judge Won’t Block Theranos Patient Complaint Evidence
(Bloomberg) -- Elizabeth Holmes lost her bid to to suppress evidence of Theranos Inc. customer complaints and blood testing results as evidence at her criminal fraud trial scheduled to start at the end of the month.
The federal judge handling the case also rejected the former Theranos chief executive officer’s request to exclude findings from a regulatory report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that proved damaging to the company.
Holmes’s lawyers have argued that the government dropped the ball by allowing a Theranos laboratory database to go irretrievably dark. Without the patient data it contains, they argued, the founder of the failed blood-testing startup can’t fairly defend herself.
Holmes’s lawyers have said the database could have been used to assess the accuracy of Theranos test results. The rates of error, and Holmes’s claims about the accuracy of the company’s machines, is a central pillar of the government’s case.
Theranos paid refunds to tens of thousands of patients for its tests in a settlement with the attorney general of Arizona, where the company’s services were sold in Walgreens stores, according to prosecutors. That was after Theranos had previously voided years of results, the U.S. said.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, said there’s no indication that Holmes ever informed prosecutors of how the contents of the database might disprove their fraud allegations. “Nor is there any indication that Holmes attempted to rush the government along in its efforts to access the database copy, despite now criticizing the government for its ‘delay,’” Davila wrote.
The judge also shot down what he called a “speculative” argument by Holmes’s defense team that the database might contain information that would exonerate her.
The “database information alone would not provide a conclusive determination of whether the Theranos blood tests were accurate, and it could just as likely contain incriminating evidence to the contrary,” he wrote.
Lance Wade, a lawyer representing Holmes, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the ruling.
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