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Ex-Boeing Quality Manager Found Dead After Giving Evidence Against Company

A Boeing whistleblower was found dead in his truck in a hotel parking lot. - Photo: Stephen Brashear (Getty Images)
A Boeing whistleblower was found dead in his truck in a hotel parking lot. - Photo: Stephen Brashear (Getty Images)

A whistleblower who gave evidence in a case against Boeing has been found dead in South Carolina. John Barnett, who worked as a quality manager at the 737 Max maker until 2017, was found dead this weekend just days after he was questioned in a legal case he brought against Boeing.

Barnett, who worked at Boeing for more than 30 years, was found dead on Saturday, reports the BBC. The coroner’s office in South Carolina confirmed on Monday that the 62-year-old was found dead in his truck in a hotel car park with a “self-inflicted” wound cited as the cause of his death. The BBC reports:

Mr Barnett had worked for the US plane giant for 32 years, until his retirement in 2017 on health grounds.

From 2010, he worked as a quality manager at the North Charleston plant making the 787 Dreamliner, a state-of-the-art airliner used mainly on long-haul routes.

In 2019, Mr Barnett told the BBC that under-pressure workers had been deliberately fitting sub-standard parts to aircraft on the production line.