Lawsuit filed after Phoenix man says hip implant broke

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PHOENIX -- Dale Parcell is back doing the activities he loves, nine months after an accident that stopped him in his tracks.

“I thought for a second that maybe there had been an earthquake. I didn't know. I yelled on the way down,” he said. “I had no idea why I was falling.”

But looking at an X-ray now, Parcell says what happened that day is obvious. The left hip implant Parcell had put in seven years ago, he says, suddenly snapped.

Parcell, who underwent emergency surgery, said his doctor recovered metal fragments from his body. Those fragments, he said, reveal the part of the device that connects the hip to the leg broke causing some of the worst pain he's ever felt.

“I could tell I had pent up anger and nothing I could do about it because I was home bound for weeks,” he said. “There was nothing I could do to change that and I thought this just isn’t the way it should be.”

Parcell recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Wright Medical Group, the Tennessee-based company that makes the implant he had.

The complaint alleges the Wright Pro-femur Total Hip System has “design defects."

It also says the Wright Medical Group changed the metal it uses to make the hip three years ago but took "no corrective action in the form of a recall or even an announcement warning to the medical community or to the public at large concerning its decision."

The lawsuit also points out the implant had a high failure rate, which Wright Medical Group failed to report to consumers and the FDA.

Parcell is asking for punitive damages.

“It was angering and I felt little bit helpless like, 'What can I do?'” he said.

3 On Your Side contacted the Wright Medical Group, which told us that as a policy, it doesn't comment on ongoing court cases.

In the meantime, Parcell says he has finally healed from his corrective surgery and hopes he'll never have to experience that kind of pain again.