Charles Herrmann is our CEO and senior litigator in our wrongful death and personal injury department. A Vietnam veteran, he left the army a Captain after serving as an Engineer Advisor with the 5th Vietnamese Ranger Group. Returning home, he won the Dean’s Medal for Legal Argument at Gonzaga University School of Law where he graduated in 1975.
He began his legal career as a Pierce County Deputy Sheriff serving as an investigator in the White-Collar Crime Unit of the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Upon being admitted to the bar he was appointed to a full Deputy Prosecuting Attorney position where he was soon appointed head of a Joint Law Enforcement Task Force addressing juvenile prostitution. In that capacity he was assigned detectives from the Tacoma Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff’s office as well as coordinating action with a Special Investigations Unit in Washington State Patrol and the Military Police at Ft. Lewis and McCord Air Force Base. Their combined efforts resulted in numerous felony pimping convictions of criminals preying on teenage girls.
He then went into private practice with his father, where after several years practicing in the criminal defense arena, he moved into the field of wrongful death and personal injury. He assumed the mantle of CEO of our law firm in 1976.
Charles gained an international reputation for his part in the litigation that arose out of the controversial shoot down of Korean Air Lines flight “KAL 007” by the Soviet Union over Sakhalin Island in 1983. He represented the families of 89 victims. After secret and lengthy negotiations in Korea, Herrmann was able to secure the testimony of another Korean Air Lines 747 pilot – that literally cracked the case against the U.S. Federal Government and KAL. His role was portrayed in the HBO movie Tailspin and featured in the definitive book on the case Death of Flight 007. He eventually recovered $10 million dollars for one family alone and millions more for the rest of his clients.
In the late 90’s Herrmann worked as a volunteer with the Center for Human Rights (Centro Derechos Humanos) in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico where he served as an International Observer for the peace talks between the Mexican government and the Zapatistas as well as in the subsequent national elections, observing the voting process in several villages deep within the Lacandon jungle (La Selva Lacandona).
Herrmann then led the firm in recovering in excess of $92 million dollars for 56 families of the victims of the crash of Korean Air flight KE 801 on August 6, 1997 near Agana, Guam. Further, he recovered $4 million dollars for the family of a Korean Air Force Major killed in a tragic accident at the National Test Pilot School in California. He then concluded cases before the Korean courts for 86 victims in the crash of Air China flight CA 129 that crashed while attempting to land at the Gim Hae airport near Busan in the spring of 2002 as Korea hosted the World Cup. At the same time, he successfully represented the families of 62 people killed in the disintegration of China Airlines flight CI 611 over the Straight of Taiwan.
Currently, Charles is leading an international team of lawyers representing 33 Hispanic victims of the crash of TACA flight 390 that overshot the runway while attempting to land at Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Five survivor cases filed in the USA, the largest of which settled for $1,750,000.00. The remaining cases are currently being litigated in Honduras or before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica.
He also successfully represented 13 victims of the crash of the Mi Joo Korean tour bus that plunged over a cliff near Pendleton, Oregon in December of 2012. Finally, he is representing multiple victims of the crash of Asiana flight OZ 214 at San Francisco in July of 2013 before the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California.
He just successfully concluded the representation of numerous victims in the spectacular air crash of Asiana flight OZ 214 at the San Francisco International Airport in the summer of 2013.
The same is true with the widely publicized crash involving a Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle. Herrmann just settled our four cases for over $8 million dollars.
He was chosen by the family of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was killed by police in Pasco, Washington on February 10, 2015 that gained international attention when the shooting was captured on several cell phone videos. That case has been successfully settled against the police.
He takes great pride in the firm’s tradition of representing the average person, “the little guy,” against airlines, transportation companies, governments, Lloyds of London, and other giants of the insurance industry.