Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Found Dead From Apparent Suicide

( – Boeing has been in the news for various reasons in recent months, mostly for incidents involving its commercial aircraft. Now the global aerospace company has more heads turned in its direction after a whistleblower was found dead in a South Carolina hotel parking lot on March 9.

John Barnett, 62, was being deposed as part of a lawsuit against Boeing, where he worked for over three decades as a quality control engineer. He retired in 2017 but told BBC in 2019 that the company was using cheap parts on its 787 Dreamliner.

Barnett also reported that he had discovered issues with the oxygen systems, which he said could cause them to fail during emergencies. In addition, he said that the company rushed to get the planes off the assembly line. Barnett’s lawyer, Brian Knowles, said that they decided to finish his deposition the following morning after he had sat for over seven hours on March 8. Knowles and his co-counsel Rob Turkewitz called the hotel to go check on Barnett after his phone kept going to voicemail after he failed to show up. Staff members found him dead in his truck in the parking lot.

The Charleston County coroner said that Barnett’s cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He reportedly left a suicide note and still had his hand on the trigger of the gun when he was found. However, his attorneys released a statement calling for the police to “investigate this fully and accurately and tell the public.” They also expressed their disbelief that Barnett would commit suicide. Knowles referred to his death as an “alleged” suicide. Boeing expressed its condolences in a statement, offering thoughts to his family and friends. Meanwhile, the problems with Boeing planes have persisted. On March 13, A Boeing plane made an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), reportedly for a potential mechanical issue. This was the second Boeing plane to make an emergency landing at LAX in March.

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