Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead Amid Lawsuit Break

Tragic Death of Boeing Whistleblower in Charleston Amid Whistleblower Retaliation Lawsuit

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John Barnett, a former quality manager at Boeing who became a prominent whistle-blower, was found dead on Saturday. [ Credit: Swikar Patel for The New York Times]

In a disturbing turn of events, John Barnett, a whistleblower embroiled in a lawsuit against Boeing, was found dead in his truck at a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. The discovery came following a break in depositions in Barnett’s whistleblower retaliation case.

According to Barnett’s lawyer, Brian Knowles, Barnett was scheduled for the third day of his deposition in Charleston for his AIR21 case, which pertains to whistleblower protection in the aviation industry. However, Barnett failed to answer calls from his legal team, prompting concern. Hotel staff eventually discovered him in his truck, deceased from an ‘alleged’ self-inflicted gunshot.

John Barnett, a former quality manager at Boeing for nearly three decades, had a deep-rooted affection for the company and its work. However, his tenure took a turn when he was transferred to Boeing’s Charleston plant, where the 787 Dreamliner is manufactured.

Barnett’s criticisms of Boeing’s management in Charleston were vocal and damning. He expressed concerns about a leadership team imported from elsewhere in the company, alleging a disregard for established processes and an emphasis on pushing aircraft out the door at the expense of safety and quality control.

Recent reports indicate Barnett had been in contact with journalists, shedding light on production issues within Boeing, including an incident involving a door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this year.

Barnett’s untimely death raises questions about the treatment of whistleblowers within Boeing and the broader aviation industry. As investigations unfold, the circumstances surrounding Barnett’s passing will undoubtedly be closely scrutinized, adding yet another layer of complexity to an already contentious legal battle.

The aviation community mourns the loss of John Barnett, a dedicated professional who dared to speak out against corporate malpractice, even at great personal risk.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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