14 Years in the Making: Justice Delayed but Not Denied
The Spring 2016 issue of The Verdict features Hagen's first-person retelling of a 14-year case. The article details a complicated, multi-car crash, the long investigation that followed and an ongoing battle with one of the insurers.
Here is an excerpt:
“The facts of her case were both simple and maddeningly complicated to establish. Shirley, her 17-year-old daughter and a friend were driving south on the 1-75/85 Downtown Connector in Atlanta in the early morning hours of September 22, 2001…
Being close to 4am, the highway was virtually empty. Suddenly, a car driven by “Mr. X” acme flying by Shirley at a high rate of speed, swerved and flipped over, hitting the median wall and bouncing off. Shirley stopped her car to see what had happened and if anyone inside the care needed help. ...
While Shirley’s daughter crawled inside the care to attempt to free the driver, Shirley flagged down another motorist and they called for help.
Several people stopped at the scene. However one vehicle did not stop. That vehicle, driven by “Ms. Z,” crashed into Mr. X’s disabled vehicle, causing severe injuries to Shirley. Ms. Z got out of her car, threw a couple of empty beer bottles over the median, and waited for the police. Ultimately, both Mr. X and Ms. Z were charged with traffic offenses and both were charged with DUI.”
This seemingly straightforward case proceeded to stretch on through a myriad of complications.
“I had no idea that I would still be representing her more than 14 years later on a case that I worked on for more than half of my legal career,” explains Hagen. “But that’s what it took to conclude the case that, over the years, both haunted and motivated me to see it through to the end, no matter what it took.”