Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett’s Suicide Note Blames Company

( – Attorneys for the Boeing whistleblower found dead from an apparent suicide in South Carolina in March said the aerospace company is to blame for their client’s death following the revelation of the man’s suicide note.

John Barnett, a whistleblower locked in a legal battle with Boeing Co., was found dead in Charleston, South Carolina, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Saturday, March 9. Now, in a joint statement published on Tuesday, May 21, his lawyers are putting the blame on the aerospace giant.

Brian Knowles and Robert Turkewitz, the attorneys who represented Barnett, said that the whistleblower’s last words made it clear that while the company “may not have pulled the trigger,” Boeing was “responsible for his death.”

On Friday, May 17, the coroner’s report was released to the public. According to Bobbi Jo O’Neal, the Charleston County Coroner, Barnett’s wound was self-inflicted to the head. His body was discovered inside of his vehicle, which was locked, with a pistol in his hand and a suicide note.

Investigators believe Barnett suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety, and was having panic attacks shortly before he killed himself. Days before his death, he was cross-examined in court by Boeing and was due to appear again the day he died. After he failed to show up, his body was found in a hotel parking lot following a wellness check.

Barnett’s lawyers blame Boeing’s “retaliation” for their client’s mental condition after he blew the whistle on problematic practices by the company. In his suicide note, Barnett said he “can’t do this any longer” and told Boeing to “bury” him “face down” so the aerospace company’s leaders could “kiss [his] a**.”

The whistleblower’s lawyers also gave a statement on behalf of his family, who thanked the coroner, the first responders, and everyone who “reached out with kind words and support.” They added that they hope Barnett’s legacy “will be his brave and courageous efforts” to stand up to Boeing and make traveling safer.

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