A judge delayed the trial of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes after a juror said they were potentially exposed to COVID-19

elizabeth holmes
Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos. Stephen Lam/Reuters
  • Elizabeth Holmes' trial was delayed after a juror said they were potentially exposed to COVID-19.

  • A juror told the judge they were awaiting lab test results, but had no symptoms, a court filing said.

  • Judge Edward Davila canceled Friday's proceedings. The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A judge has delayed the trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former CEO of Theranos, after a member of the jury was potentially exposed to COVID-19.

In an emergency Zoom call late Thursday, US District Court judge Edward Davila said to attorneys that a juror told him about potential exposure to the virus, according to a court filing. The juror told Davila they were awaiting lab test results, but had no symptoms, according to the filing.

Davila canceled Friday's scheduled trial proceedings. The trial is set to resume on Tuesday because it operates on an abbreviated three-days-a-week schedule.

Court documents said that the juror was vaccinated, wore a mask, and maintained social distancing throughout the jury selection and trial proceedings.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the juror had taken an over-the-counter test that returned negative.

"It's a little, I don't want to say ominous, but it's of concern that before we finish the first witness we have an issue," Davila said, per CNBC. "For our sake, around the county there are still high numbers and we hope everybody continues to be safe."

Jeff Schenk, a US assistant attorney, told the judge that the government was concerned about the delay because of the large number of witnesses it planned to call over the next few months, per CNBC. "I think at the stage we're in it would be safe to proceed with trial tomorrow but I understand that the court might determine especially in the beginning to be a little bit safer, to be extra careful," Schenk said, per CNBC.

Holmes has been charged with 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She has pleaded not guilty to all 12 counts.

Holmes founded blood-testing startup Theranos in 2003, aged 19. The company, which was valued at $9 billion at its peak, developed a test for a variety of health conditions that needed blood from a single finger prick.

Theranos became the focus of multiple investigations after regulators said there were major inaccuracies in its tests.

After a visit from FDA investigators, a bombshell Wall Street Journal article, and the start of an investigation by the SEC, Holmes was banned from working in the lab-testing industry for two years in July 2016. Theranos shut its lab operations and wellness centers later that year.

In June 2018, Holmes stepped down as CEO and the Department of Justice charged her. Holmes could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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