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Arizona Man Launches Hip Replacement Lawsuit against Wright

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Phoenix, AZHeadlines screaming Hip & Knee Replacement Implant Failure ring true for more and more Americans having undergone the knife for a procedure promising years of improved mobility, only to experience pain and frustration in the outcome. Such was the case for Dale Purcell, a Phoenix man who experienced a catastrophic failure of his implant.

According to Business Wire (2/22/12), Purcell was implanted with the Wright ProFemur Total Hip System in June 2005, during a procedure that replaced his left hip. However, the euphoria surrounding the initial procedure and the promised improved mobility lasted far fewer than the 15 years hip implants are expected to endure.

"One minute I'm standing there getting dressed for work and the next I'm on the ground," Purcell said in a statement. "At first I thought there was an earthquake that knocked me down, but then the pain hit and I couldn't move my leg."

The Wright ProFemur Total Hip System, according to the report, is comprised of three separate segments: a femoral head, a modular neck and the femoral stem. The plaintiff's hip replacement lawyer noted that, according to the hip replacement lawsuit filed by plaintiff Purcell, the Wright system has a design flaw in the femoral implant that causes it to fracture just below the neck.

That's what allegedly happened to Purcell. During revision surgery in 2011, surgeons had to remove several fragments of the ProFemur Z Titanium modular femoral neck. During the procedure, which was undertaken July 7 of last year, surgeons took note of mild corrosion at the site of the fracture.

The hip replacement lawsuit filed by Purcell is a nine-count complaint that alleges negligence, design defect, manufacturing defect, failure to warn and fraudulent misrepresentation, and seeks unspecified general, special and punitive damages.

The lawsuit further alleges that in 2009 the manufacturer of the Wright ProFemur system, Wright Medical Technology Inc. and Wright Medical Group, made a change to the material used in the neck component of the modular system from titanium to cobalt chrome alloy, which presumably is a more robust material.

However, the hip replacement lawsuit alleges that Wright failed to issue a warning, a recall or took no corrective action of any kind surrounding the switch to the new material. Purcell alleges in his lawsuit that Wright knew or should have known that those devices fashioned from titanium were more prone to fatigue fracture and failure than the same component made from cobalt chrome alloy.

The report on the hip replacement lawsuit did not specify damages. The plaintiff is 57.


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