Mother of Dead Boeing Whistleblower Reveals Who She Blames for Sons Death

John Barnett was discovered deceased in his vehicle in the parking lot of a Charleston, South Carolina, hotel, where he was residing while providing testimony in a whistleblower case against aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

The cause of death is under investigation by authorities, although Barnett’s mother, Vicky Stokes, has already attributed responsibility to the 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,” Stokes told CBS News, expressing her belief that Boeing is to blame. “So in that respect, I do,” she affirmed.

Barnett, aged 62 at the time of his passing, had a 32-year tenure at Boeing, including seven years as a “quality manager,” before resigning in 2017 due to job-related stress.

“Over that time, he developed concerns about the company’s operations. Before resigning, he filed an administrative complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration,” as reported by CBS. “The agency said it had no reasonable cause to believe Boeing violated whistleblower laws.

“He then filed a lawsuit in 2021, alleging a series of safety concerns. Among them: stray titanium shavings falling into electrical wiring, defective oxygen tanks, and pressure from managers to compromise safety protocols,” the report detailed.

Barnett was scheduled to provide further testimony regarding what he deemed as repeatedly disregarded safety issues within the company.

“He considered himself someone trying to do the right thing,” his brother, Rodney Barnett, conveyed to CBS. “And that’s what troubled him—that nobody paid attention to what was happening there.”

“He wasn’t aiming to harm Boeing,” concurred Rob Turkewitz, one of John Barnett’s legal representatives. “He was attempting to safeguard Boeing.

“He foresaw this outcome and said, ‘You know, this is all going to backfire on Boeing,'” Turkewitz informed CBS.

“That took a toll on him,” the attorney remarked. “I think it all came back to him.”

John Barnett recounted attempting to bring concerns to company management’s attention but being either ignored or, worse, facing retaliation.

“Boeing stopped listening to their employees. So every time I’d speak up and say, ‘hey, we have an issue here,’ they would attack the messenger and… and disregard the message,” he stated in the Netflix documentary “Downfall: The Case Against Boeing.”

Another attorney representing him, Brian Knowles, stated that the case would proceed in pursuit of “justice and accountability,” according to CBS.

The coroner classified John Barnett’s death as an “apparent suicide,” yet his brother and mother are awaiting the results of the ongoing investigation by Charleston authorities before drawing conclusions about whether it was a self-inflicted act, as reported by CBS.

Dave Calhoun has announced his intention to step down as Boeing’s CEO by the year’s end, as reported by multiple sources.

“We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our condolences go out to his family and friends,” Boeing expressed in a statement to CBS.

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