Donald C. Arbitblit

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Products Liability Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-956-1000
Fax: 415-956-1008
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2004, 2006 - 2008, 2014 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1979
Practice Areas: Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (50%), Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (50%)
Attorney Profile

A Lawyer with Unmatched Expertise in Medical and Scientific Cases

Donald C. Arbitblit is a leader among plaintiffs’ attorneys in assessing the legal, medical, and scientific aspects of personal injury, mass torts, and environmental and toxic exposure litigation. Don has served on Plaintiffs’ Science/Expert Committees in several national cases and served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Actos bladder cancer injuries federal multidistrict litigation that settled in 2015 for $2.4 billion.

Don was a member of the trial team that won the first Actos bellwether trial in April 2014, including a $9 billion punitive damage award. Don was also Chair of the Epidemiology/Causation Subcommittee of the federal Vioxx litigation from 2005-2010, and he was a member of the trial team that won a plaintiffs’ verdict in that litigation in 2006. Between 1998 and 2014, Don has served on science and expert witness committees in the ActosYazFen-Phen Diet Drug, Rezulin, BaycolVioxx, and Sulzer hip implant cases.

Don has specialized in toxic exposure and defective pharmaceutical cases for twenty-six years. From 1994 to 1998, Don was lead counsel for a certified class of women who were intentionally exposed to radioactive iron without their consent while receiving prenatal care at Vanderbilt University hospital in the 1940s. Settlement included $10.3 million and a formal apology from Vanderbilt University.

Don also played a leading role in California coordinated litigation arising out of the Sacramento River Spill of 1991; the release of a sulfuric acid cloud from the General Chemical plant in Richmond, California in 1993; and a 1995 toxic release from the Unocal refinery in Rodeo, California. These cases resulted in settlements of approximately $300 million.

Don has authored articles on environmental and pharmaceutical drug issues for Ecology Law QuarterlyMealey’s Emerging Toxic Torts, and Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and PolicySuper Lawyers magazine has recognized Don as a Super Lawyer for Northern California five times. He has lectured to attorneys on science issues in pharmaceutical defect litigation for the American Association of Justice in 2011 (Yaz) and 2013 (Actos).

About Donald C. Arbitblit

Admitted: 1979, California

Professional Webpage:


  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell; Selected for inclusion by peers in The Best Lawyers in America in fields of "Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Plaintiffs" and "Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs," Best Lawyers, 2012 - 2021; "Northern California Super Lawyer," Super Lawyers, 2004, 2006-2008, 2014-2021; Legal 500 recommended lawyer, 2013; "Lawdragon Finalist," Lawdragon, 2009-2011., Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

Bar/Professional Activity

  • American Association for Justice; New York State Bar Association.
  • ACTOS MDL Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee; Bar Association of San Francisco; Co-Chair, California JCCP Yaz Science Committee, 2010-Present; Federal Science and Expert Witness Committees (Diet Drugs MDL; Baycol MDL; Rezulin MDL); State Bar of California; VIOXX MDL Chair of the Epidemiology/Clinical Trials Subcommittee; YAZ MDL Federal Court-appointed Science Executive Committee.

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Co-Author with Wendy Fleishman, "The Risky Business of Off-Label Use," Trial (March 2005); “Comment on Joiner: Decision on the Daubert Test of Admissibility of Expert Testimony,” 6 Mealey’s Emerging Toxic Torts, No. 18 (December 1997); Co-author with William Bernstein, “Effective Use of Class Action Procedures in California Toxic Tort Litigation,” 3 Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, No. 3 (Spring 1996); “The Plight of American Citizens Injured by Transboundary River Pollution,” 8 Ecology Law Quarterly, No. 2 (1979).
  • Don also contributes to the Lieff Cabraser civil justice blog.

Educational Background

  • Tufts University (B.S., magna cum laude, 1974)
Show More
Office Location for Donald C. Arbitblit

275 Battery Street
29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

Last Updated: 3/6/2019

Page Generated: 1.9488840103149 sec