Elizabeth Holmes Set To Shift Blame For Theranos' Collapse On Sunny Balwani, Court Docs Suggest

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Nov 25, 2021 - 06:30 PM

It was only a matter of time before it happened, and now it looks to be official: Elizabeth Holmes is placing some of the blame for Theranos' spectacular collapse on her then co-worker-turned-boy-toy Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani.

New reporting from Bloomberg this week confirmed that topics like "the company’s lab operations, its financial modeling and its commercial roll-out with Walgreens, which ultimately failed" would be tied to Balwani as potential evidence that he was behind problems at the now-defunct startup. 

Holmes' lawyers told U.S. District Judge Edward Davila that Balwani would take the fifth if asked to testify, so they instead asked permission to use statements Balwani had already made, including answers from when he was being questioned by federal securities regulators. 

Recall, we reported on Holmes' testimony earlier this week. During testimony this week, Holmes reportedly pushed back on accusations about lying about Theranos' work with drug companies and blamed scientists and doctors who worked for her, saying she "believed what they had told her about Theranos’s technology," according to the NY Times

“We thought this was a really big idea,” she reportedly said on the stand. Holmes presented as a " an impressive and ambitious chief executive when describing the early days of Theranos," the NYT wrote. She discussed patents in her name and help she got from Stanford University professor Channing Roberton. 

The report described her as "relaxed and confident" in giving testimony. 

This week, she has answered questions about preliminary studies conducted by Theranos with drug companies in 2008 to 2010. The testimony was to show that the startup did, in fact, work with drug companies when it was claimed that they didn't. 

“Merck sent data back to Theranos showing how well we performed compared to their traditional assays,” she said on the stand. She also detailed attempts to work with the Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center. 

“One was seeing if there were markers in the blood to see if we could predict PTSD. One was diabetes management,” Holmes testified.

Holmes' lawyers, meanwhile, have focused on investors not doing enough due diligence, a portfolio of patents the company was able to create and unearth "kernels of truth" that were buried amongst the company's lies. They have tried to paint a picture of a young company in the early 2000s, NBC reported

Putting Holmes on the stand was a "must" given the evidence compiled against her, the NY Times wrote.

Neama Rahmani, the president of the West Coast Trial Lawyers, said: “They think they are behind, and they have a smart, likable, young, attractive witness. And she thinks she’s going to talk her way out of it.”

Balwani is set for a separate trial that should start in mid-December.