Phil Astin III, the doctor who reportedly prescribed steroids to former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star Chris Benoit, says he is now flat broke and will file bankruptcy soon.
After Chris Benoit murdered his wife and young son and then hanged himself, the DEA raided the doctor's home and other properties. He was indicted on seven counts of over-prescribing to two unnamed people. Authorities say that Chris Benoit was not one of the people that the doctor is currently charged with over-prescribing; however they do expect more charges to be filed against Astin.
Astin, who is confined to his home on house arrest, reportedly did not even have money to continue paying his attorney. His former lawyer, Manny Arora, filed a petition with the District Court to have Astin declared legally indigent and asked to be removed from the case since it was evident that he would not be paid.
Judge Russell Vineyard had the option of making Arora stay on the case or assigning it to a public defender. Judge Vineyard decided to release Arora from the case and appointed Virginia Natasha Perdew-Silas as Astin's public defender attorney.
Astin has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and claims that he is a scapegoat. He insists that he has done nothing wrong, but the charges against him have ruined his life anyway.
Additionally, the study postulated, those who suffered more minor injuries may not notice the negative effects until after the statute of limitations for suits or settlements has expired. This, too, would mean the subject would have to foot the bill, and could end up in financial trouble.
Another of the study's findings was that subjects' insurance policy types influenced their likelihood to file for bankruptcy. For subjects who had commercial medical insurance, the rate of bankruptcy was twice what it was for those who received Medicaid insurance.
This may seem like an arbitrary relationship, but the researchers hypothesized that subjects who had commercial insurance also had jobs with paychecks that permitted them to acquire car payments, home loans, and credit card debt, all of which would make a person more vulnerable to bankruptcy. After their injuries made them unable to perform their jobs, the debts accumulated would have remained.
The insurance/bankruptcy relationship was complicated by the finding that subjects with Medicaid insurance had a higher relative risk of bankruptcy: they were twice as likely to file bankruptcy after their injuries as they were before.
View in this light, the 3.5% increase in bankruptcy filings can be better appreciated.