Whistleblower Dies Following Formal Deposition

(FeaturedHeadlines.com) – On Saturday, March 9, John Barnett, a former Boeing employee of over 30 years, died in his truck at a hotel parking lot in Charleston, South Carolina. The 62-year-old recently testified in a whistleblower lawsuit against Boeing, raising concerns about its aircraft’s production standards and potential safety issues.

The county coroner said Barnett’s death was from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Barnett, who served as a quality manager at Boeing’s North Charleston plant from 2010 to 2017, primarily worked on the 787 Dreamliner, a long-haul passenger jet. During his tenure, he grew increasingly troubled by what he perceived as a production culture prioritizing speed over safety.

Barnett claimed workers faced pressure to install substandard parts and that critical issues with the oxygen systems potentially affected their functionality in emergencies. Barnett’s claims held some merit.

A 2017 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) review confirmed some of his concerns, finding that dozens of essential components were unaccounted for within the factory. Additionally, Boeing acknowledged encountering problems with oxygen cylinders in 2017, although they denied ever installing such defective parts on actual aircraft.

Upon retiring in 2017, Barnett sued Boeing, accusing them of retaliation for highlighting these safety concerns. He maintained that the company tried to undermine his credibility and hinder his career progression.

At the time of his death, he was in Charleston for further legal proceedings related to his lawsuit. After failing to appear for scheduled questioning, Barnett was tragically found deceased in his truck at the hotel parking lot.

Boeing expressed condolences to Barnett’s family, stating their sadness at his passing. However, Barnett’s death comes amidst heightened scrutiny surrounding production standards at Boeing and its supplier, Spirit AeroSystems.

This intense focus follows a recent incident where an emergency exit door detached from a brand-new Boeing 737 Max shortly after takeoff. Preliminary investigations revealed missing bolts meant to secure the door, raising questions about potential quality control lapses.

Additionally, a recent FAA audit uncovered multiple instances where Boeing allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.

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