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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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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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