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Indiana securities attorney dies

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Prominent Indiana trial attorney Thomas A. Hargett, who obtained a $262 million jury verdict against a securities company nearly a decade ago, died last week after battling cancer.

The 52-year-old Evansville native who’d moved to Fishers was a senior partner at law firm Maddox Hargett & Caruso, joining in 1994 and specializing in securities fraud litigation.

A graduate of Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis who spent more than decade in the brokerage industry, Hargett made a name for himself as a litigator achieving honors such as being a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America and the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society.

Hargett made national headlines with a 2002 jury award that at the time was considered the largest in the U.S. in a securities class-action suit. He represented about 300 retired investors from Ohio on a case against Prudential Securities based on claims that their broker sold nearly all their stocks years earlier without permission. After a five-week trial, an Ohio jury returned with a $262 million verdict against the company: $250 million of that being punitive damages. One of the state’s appellate courts later upheld the judgment for compensatory and determined punitive damages were appropriate in the case.

Hargett is survived by his wife Denise Flannagan Hargett, son Isaac and daughter Erin, as well as his father who resides in Evansville.

Memorial contributions can be made to Melanoma Vaccine Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center online at www.mdanderson.org.

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