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Boeing whistleblower's lawyer casts doubt on if he actually killed himself

Boeing whistleblower's lawyer casts doubt on if he actually killed himself

The lawyer of the late Boeing whistleblower John Barnett has casted doubt surrounding the circumstances behind his death.

The lawyer of the Boeing whistleblower who was found dead days after testifying in a lawsuit against the company has cast doubt into the circumstances behind his tragic passing.

John Barnett had been working for Boeing for over three decades, before expressing concerns about the company's production standards and safety.

The 62-year-old had been a Boeing quality manager making the 787 Dreamliner at the North Charleston plant in South Carolina from 2010 up until his retirement in 2017.

In 2019, Barnett decided to speak out about workers allegedly feeling pressured to fit sub-standard parts to aircraft on the production line.

One major concern of Barnett's was the oxygen masks on the plane.

He claimed to have uncovered series issues with the oxygen systems that could lead to one in four masks not working on the plane in an emergency situation, BBC News reports.

Boeing denies his claims.

There have been safety concerns regarding the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in particular.
Getty Stock Photo

In recent days, Barnett had been giving evidence during a lawsuit against the firm - but was found dead in his car on Saturday (9 March).

Barnett was found in his truck in the parking lot of his South Carolina hotel where he'd been staying during the legal proceedings.

Charleston County coroner stated Barnett died from an apparently 'self-inflicted' wound believed to have been caused by gunshot.

After his tragic passing was confirmed, Boeing said in a statement: "We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Sergeant Anthony Gibson of the Charleston Police Department said on Tuesday (March 12) morning: "We understand the global attention this case has garnered, and it is our priority to ensure that the investigation is not influenced by speculation but is led by facts and evidence.

"Given the sensitive nature of the investigation, we are unable to participate in media interviews at this time.

"This stance is not unique to this case but is a standard procedure we adhere to in order to preserve the integrity of active investigations."

Barnett's lawyer, Brian Knowles, described his passing as 'tragic'.

He has also cast doubt that Barnett died from a 'self-inflicted' gunshot wound.

John Barnett was found dead on Saturday.
Fox 11

Knowles said in an email to the Corporate Crime Reporter: "Today is a tragic day. John had been back and forth for quite some time getting prepared.

"The defense examined him for their allowed seven hours under the rules on Thursday.

"I cross examined him all day yesterday [Friday, March 8] and did not finish. We agreed to continue this morning at 10 a.m. Rob [Turkewitz] kept calling this morning and his phone would go to voicemail.

"We then asked the hotel to check on him. They found him in his truck dead from an ‘alleged’ self-inflicted gunshot.

"We drove to the hotel and spoke with the police and the coroner."

Speaking further to UNILAD, Knowles said: "John was in the midst of a deposition in his whistleblower retaliation case, which finally was nearing the end. He was in very good spirits and really looking forward to putting this phase of his life behind him and moving on. We didn't see any indication he would take his own life. No one can believe it.

"We are all devastated. We need more information about what happened to John. The Charleston police need to investigate this fully and accurately and tell the public what they find out. No detail can be left unturned."

UNILAD has reached out to Charleston County coroner for a comment.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in mental health crisis, help is available through Mental Health America. Call or text 988 or chat You can also reach Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix / Knowles International

Topics: Mental Health, US News, News