SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – The final lab director at Theranos took the stand at Elizabeth Holmes’ fraud trial Tuesday, saying that Holmes tried to give federal regulators an “alternative explanation” for two years’ worth of faulty lab results.
Dr. Kingshuk Das also said that in the company’s final years, it wasn’t even using its own devices to test blood.
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Das was lab director at Theranos from late 2015 to 2018, when the company folded. He testified that responding to government audits was nearly the sole responsibility he had.
“This final lab director is not only giving damaging testimony, he’s giving devastating testimony against Elizabeth Holmes,” Michele Hagan, former prosecutor and legal analyst, told KPIX 5.
According to Hagan, Das’ testimony could strongly support the prosecution’s allegation of fraud.
“It’s her company, she’s responsible and she made these representations every day on her website that they were using this technology. This revolutionary technology,” Hagan said.
Das testified that in 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services put the company on notice that their practices “jeopardized the health and safety of patients.”
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He said he then told Holmes that he voided all patient test results done on Theranos devices for 2014 and 2015 because the instruments were so unreliable.
The lab director said Holmes wanted to give government regulators an alternative explanation that there was not an instrument failure, but a failure of quality control practices.
“At that point, she was put on notice. She should have shut the door, gone back to the drawing board and fixed all of the problems,” Hagan said. “You don’t just keep going along with your vision when you know there are problems, especially when she was told by the government regulators that their lab practices were a threat to patient safety.”
Das has yet to face cross examination from Holmes’ attorneys.
On Tuesday, there were also more logistical problems inside the courtroom where the trial is taking place.
The video system used to show the jury evidence such as documents and emails went down, so attorneys had to project images on the wall and darken the courtroom.
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The judge apologized to the jury for the inconvenience.
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