Charles Willmes

Shareholder, Seattle Office

Direct Dial: 206.521.6466
Fax: 206.386.5130

Practice Areas

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, 1993

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law - J.D., cum laude, 1993
    • American Jurisprudence Award - Remedies
  • University of Redlands - B.A., magna cum laude, 1990

Practice Experience

Charles Willmes has more than 25 years of experience in defense litigation. His practice focuses on complex litigation with an emphasis on premises liability and product liability matters. He regularly represents national retail and hospitality industry clients in litigation, including foodborne illness, liquor liability, and claims involving negligent security or criminal assaults by third parties. He also has extensive experience handling professional liability, trucking and other commercial vehicle accident cases, and crane accident litigation.

Charles has tried numerous cases to verdict in state and federal courts in Washington. He has resolved cases in arbitration and mediation and has served as an arbitrator for King County Superior Court.

Representative Matters

  • Defended a product liability action involving ingestion of steel bristle from a barbecue grill brush. Obtained defense verdict following a jury trial.
  • Represented a national grocery retailer in claims arising from Salmonella outbreak.
  • Represented a national grocery retailer in a claim involving illness from E. coli exposure. Obtained dismissal at summary judgment.
  • Defended a grocery store in premises liability case involving significant personal injuries. Obtained defense verdict following a jury trial.
  • Defended a Seattle nightclub in a case involving altercation between patrons and club security resulting in significant head injury. Defense verdict following a jury trial.
  • Represented crane company in litigation matters involving the collapse of a 500-ton mobile crane at power plant involving a claim of $25 million in business interruption loss.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical products manufacturer in product liability matter involving phenylpropanolamine (PPA). Dismissal of the case obtained.
  • Represented a large warehouse distribution center in claims involving catastrophic forklift accident.
  • Represented a manufacturer of underground drill head locating equipment in a suit involving defective product claims. Obtained dismissal of all claims on summary judgment.
  • Represented a large municipal Port in a matter involving a collision between container cranes. Obtained recovery on behalf of Port.
  • Represented a manufacturer of adaptive technology hand control device for operation of a motor vehicle in cases involving claims of product liability following a serious accident. Summary judgment obtained for the manufacturer.
  • Represented a retail store in claims based on prescription filled by the pharmacy. Case dismissed on summary judgment.

Awards and Honors

  • Named as a "Rising Star" in Washington Super Lawyers (2007 — Personal Injury Defense: Products)