Thomas A. Hargett
The legal community lost a valued friend and colleague on June 27, 2011, with the passing of Thomas A. Hargett, a senior partner in Maddox Hargett & Caruso, P.C.
Born and raised in Evansville, Indiana, Hargett graduated from Central High School in Evansville in 1976 and later received his bachelor’s of science degree from Indiana University Kelley School of Business in 1980. In 1983, Hargett received an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. For 12 years, he held various positions in the brokerage industry. He graduated from Indiana University School of Law in 1994.
Hargett made national headlines in 2002 after successfully representing investors from Marion, Ohio, in their lawsuit against Prudential Securities. Following a five-week jury trial, Hargett’s clients were awarded $11.6 million in compensatory damages. The Ohio court also ruled that Prudential had to pay $250 million in punitive damages—a decision that is believed to be the largest jury verdict ever in a U.S. securities class-action suit. The matter eventually settled after the punitive damages were reduced on appeal.
Hargett served as a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America and the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society. From 2005 to 2009, he was selected by his peers as an “Indiana Super Lawyer.” Hargett also was a member of the Arbitration Panels of National Association of Securities Dealers and the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, where he served on the Federal Legislation Committee.
Hargett’s professional work ethic was only exceeded by his dedication to community service. Among his many charitable contributions, Hargett served as a board member and president of the Indiana University Sigma Nu Housing Corporation, where he organized numerous events around the issue of alcohol abuse. In 2010, he received the Herman B. Wells Alumni Leadership Award and was inducted into the Sigma Nu Beta Eta Chapter’s Hall of Honor. He also was honored by the National Fraternity as its Housing Corporation President of the Year.
Hargett also spearheaded a student-led community service program at Sigma Nu, the results of which allowed students to give up their summer jobs and take on responsibilities within their local communities.
Hargett was an avid volunteer and president-elect of the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund. His history with the organization began in 2007, when he successfully represented the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund in a legal case over the misrepresentation of investments. Hargett provided his legal services pro bono. In October 2010, Hargett was the recipient of the Meagan Skinner Award in recognition of his years of community service to ICWF.
In 2008, Hargett was diagnosed with melanoma cancer. While he has lost his battle to the disease, Hargett’s personal and professional contributions will continue to live on forever. Hargett leaves behind his beloved wife, Denise, and two young children, Erin and Isaac.
- B.A. — Indiana University, 1980
- M.B.A. — Northwestern University, J.L. Kellogg School of Management, 1983
- J.D. — Indiana University, School of Law, 1994
- Indiana State Bar, 1994
- U.S. Federal District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 1994
- U.S. Federal District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 1994
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2000
Mr. Hargett was a well known speaker and lecturer on securities-related topics. His experience in securities arbitration and class action litigation resulted in feature articles in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek, Business Week, Indianapolis Business Journal, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Indiana Lawyer, Indianapolis Star, The Memphis Daily News, Marion Ohio Star, Street Talk, Associated Press, Boston Globe, Newsday, Indianapolis CEO, Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati Post, San Mateo County Times, Palm Beach Post, YahooFinance.com, PrimeNewswire, Dow Jones Business News, TheStreet.com, and he appeared on CNN Financial.