Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Mysteriously Dies in US

A former employee of Boeing, recognized for his vocal concerns regarding the company’s production standards, has been discovered deceased in the United States.

John Barnett, who dedicated 32 years to Boeing until his retirement in 2017, was found to have passed away recently. Prior to his death, Barnett had been actively participating in a whistleblower lawsuit against the aerospace giant.

Boeing expressed sorrow over Barnett’s demise, confirmed by the Charleston County coroner on Monday, attributing it to a “self-inflicted” wound on March 9, with law enforcement conducting an investigation.

During his tenure at Boeing, Barnett served as a quality manager at the North Charleston facility, primarily focused on manufacturing the 787 Dreamliner, a sophisticated aircraft commonly used for long-distance travel.

In interviews with the BBC in 2019, Barnett disclosed instances where employees, under pressure, had intentionally installed subpar parts in aircraft during production.

He also brought to light significant concerns regarding oxygen systems, indicating that a substantial portion of breathing masks might fail during emergencies.

Barnett’s apprehensions extended to the rushed assembly process compromising safety standards, allegations refuted by the company.

He further asserted discrepancies in the tracking of components within the factory, leading to the incorporation of defective parts into aircraft to prevent production delays.

Despite bringing these issues to management’s attention, Barnett claimed no action was taken, a contention disputed by Boeing.

However, a 2017 investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) substantiated some of Barnett’s claims, prompting Boeing to address deficiencies in its processes.

Following his retirement, Barnett pursued legal action against Boeing, alleging defamation and career impediment due to his whistleblowing efforts, which the company denied.

Tragically, Barnett’s passing occurred while he was in Charleston for legal proceedings related to his case. His death is described by his attorney as “tragic”.

Boeing expressed condolences to Barnett’s family and friends, acknowledging his contributions to the company during his tenure.

The timing of Barnett’s demise coincides with heightened scrutiny on production standards at Boeing and its primary supplier, Spirit Aerosystems, following an incident in January involving an emergency exit door detaching from a new Boeing 737 Max shortly after takeoff.

Subsequent audits by the FAA revealed several instances of non-compliance with manufacturing quality control requirements within the company.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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