Buddhism beliefs

Week 5 recap of Elizabeth Holmes trial: Juror lets go of punishment beliefs and former Safeway CEO Steven Burd describes unusual deal

  • Fraud test of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes completed its fifth week.
  • Former Safeway CEO Steven Burd testified, and another juror left in a disturbing sign for Holmes.

The former laboratory director completes six days on the stand

The trial resumed this week with continued cross-examination of former director of the Theranos laboratory Adam Rosendorff.

Lance Wade, one of Holmes’ defense attorneys, read in court part of a deposition Rosendorff had given in a separate case, according to The Wall Street Journal. In it, Rosendorff said Theranos had no more abnormal test results than other places he worked, including the University of Pittsburgh.

Rosendorff replied that the school did a lot more testing than Theranos, so it was expected that Theranos had fewer errors.

Wade also touched on Rosendorff’s current job at lab services company PerkinElmer, which has also come under scrutiny from federal inspectors over its testing abilities, the Journal reports.

Rosendorff said in questioning that his lab manager’s license was in jeopardy when inspectors discovered problems at PerkinElmer’s lab in Valencia earlier this year.

Another juror leaves, citing beliefs about punishment

A juror was removed from office on Wednesday after telling the judge that his Buddhist religion would affect his ability to ultimately participate in the verdict. Juror No. 4 told Judge Edward Davila that she practices “compassion, love and forgiveness”, according to ABC News. She said she became worried about sending Holmes to jail and “thought about it every day”.

After her dismissal, the substitute chosen to replace her also expressed reservations about her quality as a juror. The substitute told Davila that she was worried about her ability to be a juror because English is not her first language, KTVU reports.

“It’s the first time I’ve been in this situation and it’s his future,” the alternative said, according to ABC News. “I don’t know if I’m 100% ready to participate in something like this.”

The alternative also said of Holmes, “She’s so young.” Either way, Davila felt she was fit to replace the outgoing juror, who is the second person to leave the jury so far.

Former Safeway CEO testifies

On Wednesday, Steven Burd, who served as CEO of Safeway for 20 years before retiring in 2013, spoke. He testified that upon hearing about Theranos he thought it was a “fascinating concept” and was “immediately interested in meeting Theranos and in particular the founder”.

“The cost reductions appealed to me,” he said, according to KTVU. “I liked the idea of ​​doing a blood test in 20-30 minutes.”

Burd also sang Holmes’s praises at the helm, calling her “charismatic” and “smart”.

“Not all CEOs are alike,” Burd said, according to The New York Times. “She would rise to the top of the pile in terms of vision, in terms of information literacy, clearly in terms of delivery. She was always decisive.”

In September 2010, Safeway and Theranos signed a contract with an expected financial commitment of $85 million, of which $30 million was needed to install labs in Safeway stores. Burd said he found it unusual that he “never saw a lawyer” during the negotiations, which he said Holmes appeared to be doing on her own.

Speaking of Theranos’ technology, Burd added, “We were constantly told that it essentially replaced a full-fledged traditional lab,” according to KTVU.


You can catch up Week 1 here, Week 2 here, Week 3 hereand Week 4 here. You can read how Holmes was tried here and see the list of potential witnesses here. Everything you need to know about the case is here.