Boeing whistleblower’s family speaks out for first time since he was found dead in car

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The family of Boeing whistleblower John Barnett spoke about the mysterious death of their relative in an interview this week.

Barnett, who was found dead in a parked car earlier this month after blowing the whistle on widespread safety violations at Boeing, previously claimed he had been “harassed, denigrated, [and] humiliated” for raising concerns about quality control issues.

Vicky Stokes, the mother of Barnett, was asked by CBS News whether she placed blame on Boeing in her son’s demise.

BOEING WHISTLEBLOWER JOHN BARNETT FOUND DEAD DAYS AFTER TESTIFYING AGAINST COMPANY 

“If this hadn’t gone on so long, I’d still have my son, and my sons would have their brother, and we wouldn’t be sitting here. So, in that respect, I do,” said Stokes. 

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The Charleston County Coroner’s Office told Fox News Digital that John Barnett, 62, died from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Saturday, March 9. 

Prior to his death, Barnett was taking legal action against Boeing over actions he alleged led to his “constructive discharge” in March 2017 and was seeking damages including back pay, lost benefits and emotional distress. 

BOEING WHISTLEBLOWER JOHN BARNETT WAS SPIED ON, HARASSED BY MANAGERS, LAWSUIT CLAIMS

“He thought of himself as trying to do the right thing. And that’s what bothered him, that nobody would listen as to what was going on there,” said brother Rodney Barnett in the CBS interview.

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The two family members told CBS News that they did not want to comment on whether they believe John Barnett’s death was a suicide until the police investigation was completed, according to the outlet.

Boeing, when asked to respond to the lawsuit Thursday, told FOX Business, “We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

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In 2019, Barnett told the BBC that Boeing would rush to get its 787 Dreamliner jets off the production line, compromising safety. He alleged that the emergency oxygen systems that were made for 787 Dreamliners had a failure rate of 25%. This meant that a quarter of 787 Dreamliners had the potential to rapidly lose oxygen if the cabins were suddenly decompressed, suffocating passengers.

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Barnett said that he had encountered these issues when he began working at Boeing’s North Charleston plant in 2010.

“Boeing reviewed and addressed quality issues that Mr. Barnett raised before he retired in 2017, as well as other quality issues referred to in the complaint,” a spokesperson added. 

Fox Business’s Andrea Vacchiano and Greg Norman contributed to this report.

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