Hildy litigates and serves as trial counsel in high-stakes product liability cases on behalf of pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers throughout the United States. She is often called upon to act as trial counsel in bellwether cases and has extensive experience defending Fortune 100 corporations in national multidistrict litigation, consolidated proceedings and mass tort claims. 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.
Hildy’s recent work includes acting as national counsel for Boston Scientific Corp., defending claims involving pelvic mesh products used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed against mesh medical device manufacturers in state and federal courts. Hildy has had a lead role defending these claims at trial, including one nine-week trial in which the plaintiff sought $28 million and Hildy and the team persuaded the jury to return a complete defense verdict.
Clients, judges, co-counsel and colleagues have praised Hildy’s skills in both the development and execution of litigation strategy. One retired judge has 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’s ability to connect meaningfully with her peers and juries includes more 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, Hildy served terms as the chair of the Women’s Mentoring Committee and the Young Lawyers Diversity Committee. A partner at another firm says she 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 firm hand and patience.”
Hildy was named to the top 25 “Influential Business Women” of 2017 by the South Florida Business Journal. She was awarded Band 5 recognition in Nationwide Products Liability by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; was recognized in The Legal 500 United States; and was featured in Attorney at Law Magazine's “Attorneys to Watch” and The American Lawyer’s Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year. She is an active member of DRI’s Drug and Medical Device Steering Committee and serves as the state committee chair for the International Association of Defense Counsel. She also is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. Hildy is a member of Shook’s Executive Committee (governing body), the Women’s Management Council and serves as the Administrative Managing Partner for the firm’s Miami office.
Recent matters include representing: Boston Scientific (pelvic mesh litigation); Stryker (Rejuvenate hip implants); Philip Morris (cigarettes); Pfizer (hormone replacement therapy); Bayer (Yaz and Yasmin); Bausch & Lomb (Renu contact lenses); and Wyeth (Fen-Phen diet drug litigation).
Trials and Summary Judgments
Lesly 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) Defense verdict.
Lisa 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).
Freeman v. PM USA II - Circuit Court for Alachua County, Florida. Cigarette product liability trial. Jury awarded zero in punitive damages, despite finding entitlement. This was the first time to have occurred in a tobacco trial. (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. (Part of Engle-Progeny litigation)
Ronda Orozco v. Boston Scientific Corp. – Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Superior Court. Bellwether medical-device trial. (Pelvic mesh litigation)
Eve 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)
Alicia 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)
Vickie 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)
Witt v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp. - U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Summary judgment obtained in medical device case. (EIUS knee implant)
Kaufman v. Wyeth, LLC – U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Summary judgment obtained in pharmaceutical case. (Hormone replacement therapy litigation)
Guarino v. Wyeth LLC and Schwarz Pharma, Inc. - U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Summary judgment obtained in pharmaceutical case. (Relating to use of generic Reglan)
Metz v. Wyeth LLC – U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Summary judgment obtained. (Relating to use of generic Reglan)
Sonya D. Naar, Hildy Sastre, Todd Silberman, & Miranda Lundeen Soto, Personalizing the Corporate Client: Reversing the Reptilian Theory in High-Stakes Litigation, Association of Corporate Counsel's Annual Meeting, October 16, 2016.
Hildy Sastre & Iain Kennedy, Product Liability In The Age Of Global Pandemics, Law360, December 17, 2014.
Hildy M. Sastre, Featured Articles Issues to Consider When Deposing Prescribers in the Failure-to-Warn Context, DRI's RX for the Defense, October 2012.
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.
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.