Hildy is co-chair of Shook’s Product Liability Litigation Practice Group and is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who has first-chaired high-stakes cases for product manufacturers throughout the United States. Hildy has obtained numerous defense verdicts in cases where tens to hundreds of millions of dollars were at stake. She is often called upon to act as trial counsel in bellwether cases and cases of first impression. In addition to her trial work for drug and medical device companies, Hildy has also tried cases on behalf of cigarette manufacturers as well as commercial and intellectual property cases. She has extensive experience defending Fortune 100 corporations in national multidistrict litigation, consolidated proceedings and mass tort claims.
Hildy was recognized as 2019’s “Most Effective Attorney” in the area of complex litigation by The Daily Business Review. This distinction was due, in large part, to the bellwether defense verdict she obtained for Sanofi in the Taxotere MDL. She also obtained a defense verdict in a nine-week trial in which the plaintiff sought $28 million plus punitive damages. The trial was selected as the top defense verdict in the United States in 2016 by Courtroom View Network.
Clients, judges, co-counsel and colleagues have praised Hildy’s skills in both the development and execution of litigation strategy. Said one interviewed and quoted about Hildy by Chambers USA, “I think very highly of her—she is a very creative lawyer who looks at things with a critical eye.” Others interviewed and quoted by Chambers USA stated, “She’s a very fine trial lawyer,” and she is a “really terrific lawyer,” and another added that Hildy is “an excellent trial lawyer; her quality is very high. She’s very good.” One judge noted that, “Hildy is always mindful of her corporate clients’ business interests in skillfully navigating the serious allegations of plaintiffs claiming harm from her clients’ products.” In the courtroom, Hildy is known for being engaging and relatable; she “bonds very well with juries and is very adept at handling difficult witnesses on cross,” according to a client. “She has that unique ability—one that is simply not teachable—to relate to all people from all walks of life whether they are judges, juries, other counsel or people encountered in hotels or courts,” says an attorney who has represented co-defendants at trial with Hildy.
Hildy has been awarded Band 1 recognition in Nationwide Products Liability by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Hildy is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and of the Litigation Counsel of America. She has been recognized in The Legal 500 United States, and was named to the top 25 “Influential Business Women” of 2017 by the South Florida Business Journal. Hildy was featured in The American Lawyer’s Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year and in Attorney at Law Magazine’s “Attorneys to Watch.” She has also been selected to serve on the 2022 Trials Editorial Board and the 2021 Product Liability Editorial Board for Law360 and is an active member of DRI’s Drug and Medical Device Steering Committee. Hildy serves as the state committee chair for the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) and is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. She also serves on Shook’s Executive Committee (governing body) and the Women’s Management Council.
Hildy’s ability to connect meaningfully with her peers and juries includes junior attorneys as well. She regularly mentors attorneys newer to the profession during cases and at organized mentoring events. As a member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), Hildy served terms as the chair of the Women’s Mentoring Committee and the Young Lawyers Diversity Committee. A partner observed that while representing a co-defendant at trial, Hildy “never seemed too busy—even though she was—to explain something, provide input and guide with her combination of a firm hand and patience.”
Nicholson v. Covidien LP, Covidien Sales LLC, Covidien Holding, Inc., and Medtronic, Inc. - State of Minnesota County of Hennepin District Court Fourth Judicial District. (Medical device claim related to surgical stapler).
Shelton v. Monsanto - Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. Defense verdict in six-week trial involving claimed use of Roundup and the development of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Plaintiff sought more than $160 million in damages.
Kahn v. Sanofi Aventis U.S. LLC - U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Defense verdict in second bellwether trial of chemotherapy drug. (Taxotere MDL)
In Re: Zofran (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation - United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. MDL-ending summary judgment motion based on federal preemption. (Birth defect claims litigation)
Earnest v. Sanofi Aventis U.S. LLC - U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Defense verdict in first bellwether trial of chemotherapy drug. (Taxotere MDL)
Mahfuz v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. - Circuit Court of Broward County, Florida. Cigarette product liability trial. (Part of Engle-Progeny litigation)
Fajardo v. Boston Scientific Corp. - Superior Court of Waterbury County, Massachusetts. Defense verdict in medical device trial where the product was surgically removed. The youngest plaintiff in the country to seek pain and suffering damages in a vaginal mesh trial. (Pelvic mesh litigation)
Cavanaugh v. Stryker Corp. - Circuit Court for St. Lucie County, Florida. Defense verdict in wrongful death trial where plaintiffs sought 40 million dollars in damages. (Medical device claim related to surgical suction equipment)
Freeman v. PM USA II - Circuit Court for Alachua County, Florida. Cigarette product liability trial. Defense verdict. (Part of Engle-Progeny litigation)
Flores v. Boston Scientific Corp. - Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Superior Court. Bellwether medical-device trial. (Pelvic mesh litigation)
Freeman v. PM USA - Circuit Court for Alachua County, Florida. Cigarette product liability trial. Mistrial; hung jury. (Part of Engle-Progeny litigation)
Orozco v. Boston Scientific Corp. – Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Superior Court. Bellwether medical-device trial. (Pelvic mesh litigation)
Sherrer v. Boston Scientific Corporation – Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. Medical-device trial. Eight-week jury trial and the first mesh trial involving two distinct devices. Selected as the Top Defense Verdict in the United States for 2016 by Courtroom View Network. (Pelvic mesh litigation)
Suarez v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. – Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Florida. Cigarette product liability trial. Defense verdict in wrongful death case where plaintiffs sought in excess of $50 million in damages. (Part of Engle-Progeny litigation)
McKeever v. PM USA – Circuit Court for Broward County, Florida. Cigarette product liability trial. (Part of Engle-Progeny litigation)
Eghnayem, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corp. – U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Bellwether multi-plaintiff medical-device trial. (Pelvic mesh litigation)
Aero Consulting Corporation and Hartford Holding Corporation v. Raytheon Aircraft Services – Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Florida. Business litigation trial with claims of breach of contract, fraud and conspiracy. Directed verdict entered by the court. (Complex commercial matter relating to the purchase of an aircraft)
SPS Technologies Corporation v. Motorola – Circuit Court for Broward County, Florida. Complex commercial and intellectual property trial. (Related to the development of GPS technology)
Mueller v. Medi-wheels, Inc. - Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Florida. Product liability trial. (Wrongful death case involving device used to lift patients)
Miethe v. Hertz, et al. - Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Florida. Product liability auto roll-over trial. (Catastrophic injuries relating allegedly defective tire)
Ondo v. Bliss, Inc. - Circuit Court for Broward County, Florida. Personal injury trial. (Premises liability case with significant injuries leading to total knee replacement)
Important Product Liability Practice Trends To Watch In 2022, Law360, February 8, 2022.
Pharmaceutical Advertising 2019: Trends and Developments, Chambers and Partners Practice Guide, February 20, 2019 (with Sonali Gunawardhana, Jennise Stubbs and Alyse Zadalis).
Reversing Reptile Theory, DRI Women in the Law Annual Meeting, February 1, 2018.
Personalizing the Corporate Client: Reversing the Reptilian Theory in High-Stakes Litigation, Association of Corporate Counsel's Annual Meeting, October 16, 2016 (with Sonya D. Naar, Todd Silberman and Miranda Lundeen Soto).
Product Liability In The Age Of Global Pandemics, Law360, December 17, 2014 (with Iain Kennedy).
Issues to Consider When Deposing Prescribers in the Failure-to-Warn Context, DRI's RX for the Defense, October 2012.
Mass Torts Are Not Perfect: The Plaintiffs’ Bar Roadmap to Leverage, The Government Investigations & Civil Litigation Institute’s Eighth Annual Meeting, November 8, 2022.
Building a Fulfilling and Productive Career, Women in Litigation Forum 2021, Benchmark Litigation, September 30, 2021.
MDL Management & Reform: Why It Is Needed and How to Go About It, Update of the Law, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, June 10, 2021.
Best Strategies for Moving Forward When Faced With an Actual Multi-Plaintiff Trial, ACI Annual Conference on Drug & Medical Device Litigation, New York City, November 29, 2018.
Preparing to Win, DRI Women in the Law Seminar, February 1, 2018.
Personalizing the Corporate Client: Reversing the Reptilian Theory in High-Stakes Litigation, Association of Corporate Counsel's Annual Meeting, San Francisco, October 16, 2016.
The Ebola Scare: Lessons Learned for All Employers, IADC Corporate Counsel College, April 17, 2015.
Hot Topics and Recent Developments in Medical Device Regulation and Enforcement, ABA Section of Litigation, Current Issues in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation, November 16, 2012.
Navigating Increased Risks and Regulatory Challenges When Undertaking Global Product Recalls, American Conference Institute's Summit on Drug & Device Product Recalls, March 22, 2011.
Super Lawyers Mock Trial CLE, Dade County Bar Association, June 11, 2010.
Winning Strategies: How We Steered a Win for Sanofi Despite a Sympathetic Plaintiff, Reuters Legal News, January 13, 2022.
Sanofi-Aventis Wins Second Taxotere Verdict in Jury Bellwether, The American Lawyer, November 19, 2021.
Fresh off Pharma Victory, Defense Lawyer Braces for Similar Fights Fueled by Lit Funding, Daily Business Review, June 29, 2021.
Top Product Liability Cases of 2021: Midyear Report, Law360, June 25, 2021.
Shook Attorneys Secure Summary Judgment in Zofran Multidistrict Litigation, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, June 15, 2021.
Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and a Shout Out, The AmLaw Litigation Daily, June 11, 2021.
Female Atty To Co-Lead Shook Hardy Product Liability Group, Law360, January 20, 2021.
Shook Names Product Liability Co-Chairwoman Amid Lateral Movement, Growing Competition, Daily Business Review, January 15, 2021.
First Taxotere Bellwether Trial Ends in Defense Verdict, Law.com, September 27, 2019.
Defending Against Anti-Corporate Sentiment: Shook Hardy's Hildy Sastre Talks Strategy, The Daily Business Review, July 9, 2018.
Best Law Firms for Women: An Interview with Hildy Sastre, by Lisa Goldstein, Parker + Lynch, December 5, 2017.
CVN BigLaw Spotlight: Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, Courtroom View Network, December 21, 2020.
How Shook Trial Attorneys Effectively Speak to Juries in Life Science Trials, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, October 22, 2019 (with Hassia Diolombi).
Miami Marks 20 Years, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, October 16, 2018 (with Bill Geraghty).