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Boeing Under Fire: The Revelations of John Barnett's Complaint

2024

Lawyers representing the late Boeing whistleblower John Barnett have made public the complaints central to a federal labor lawsuit he filed against the aerospace giant prior to his passing.

Barnett, whose body was discovered in his truck at a Holiday Inn in Charleston on March 9, had lodged a 32-page document outlining allegations of reprisal by Boeing. This came after he provided depositions in preparation for the federal trial scheduled for July.

The law firm of Robert M. Turkewitz, LLC, released a redacted copy of Barnett's Amended Complaint, filed on May 4, 2021, along with the court's decision of May 31, 2022, which denied Boeing's Partial Motion to Dismiss.

Barnett's complaint, filed under the AIR-21 Act with the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Administrative Law Court, alleges that Boeing retaliated against him for raising concerns about safety and quality control practices at Boeing South Carolina (BSC), where he worked for seven years.

The complaint details instances where Barnett asserts he was marginalized, harassed, and denied professional opportunities due to his efforts to address what he described as a "deep-rooted and persistent culture of concealment" at Boeing.

Boeing, in response to inquiries, expressed condolences for Barnett's passing and stated that it had addressed quality issues raised by Barnett prior to his retirement in 2017, as well as other issues mentioned in his complaint.

Barnett's lawyers are currently appealing the OSHA investigation decision that denied his claim, indicating that the case is ongoing.

Barnett's complaint seeks various forms of relief, including back pay, lost bonuses, and damages for emotional distress, among others.

The revelations in Barnett's complaint shed light on the challenges faced by whistleblowers and the complexities of addressing safety and quality concerns within large corporations.

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