Charles Herrmann Owner | Chairman
Charles Herrmann is Chairman of Herrmann Law Group and senior litigator in our wrongful death and personal injury division. He is leading HLG’s representation of 26 victims families in the crash of Lion Air JT 610 and is preparing lawsuits in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines ET 302.
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. After admission to the bar, he was appointed as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. He soon became the leader 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. He coordinated 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, former State Senator and Washington State Insurance Commissioner Karl Herrmann. After several years practicing in the criminal defense arena, Charles moved into the field of wrongful death and personal injury.
Herrmann gained an international reputation 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 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.
Herrmann also 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. He represented 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. 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.
He 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. He represented multiple victims of the crash of Asiana flight OZ 214 at San Francisco in July of 2013. He also represented multiple victims in the spectacular air crash of Asiana flight OZ 214 at the San Francisco International Airport in the summer of 2013
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. After vetting the best aviation lawyers in the world, the Korean Air Force Attache recommended Herrmann.
Herrmann recently settled four cases in the Ride the Ducks crash on the Aurora Bridge for more than $9 million dollars.
He also successfully settled the case of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was killed by police in Pasco, Washington in 2015. The shooting, which was captured on several cell phone videos, gained international attention.
In addition to the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crash cases, he is currently 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 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.