Attorney for Dead Boeing Whistleblowers Speaks Out

Attorney for Dead Boeing Whistleblowers Speaks Out
Attorney for Dead Boeing Whistleblowers Speaks Out

An attorney who represented the two Boeing whistleblowers who died in recent months said that the men were “heroes.”

Brian Knowles told The New York Post: “These men were heroes. So are all the whistleblowers. They loved the company and wanted to help the company do better. They didn’t speak out to be aggravating or for fame. They’re raising concerns because people’s lives are at stake. “

Joshua Dean, a former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems turned whistleblower, died last week after contracting a sudden illness, his family said. His death came less than two months after a second Boeing whistleblower, John Barnett, was found dead with a gunshot wound that authorities said appeared to be self-inflicted.

Newsweek reached out to Knowles for further comment in an email sent outside of regular working hours.

The Boeing sign on a building near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Two Boeing whistleblowers have died in recent months.
The Boeing sign on a building near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Two Boeing whistleblowers have died in recent months.
David McNew/Getty Images

Conspiracy theories have swirled around following the deaths, despite there being no evidence to suggest foul play in either case.

Suspicions were heightened when a self-described family friend of Barnett’s claimed in a media interview that he had said: “If anything happens to me it’s not suicide.” Newsweek wasn’t able to verify the claims of the supposed family friend.

Knowles, who was Barnett and Dean’s attorney, told The Post that he was unsure what to make of Barnett’s death.

“I knew John Barnett for seven years and never saw anything that would indicate he would take his own life,” Knowles said. “Then again, I’ve never dealt with someone who did (commit suicide.) So maybe you don’t see the signs. I don’t know.”

The Post noted that attorneys for the men hope that their deaths won’t scare away 10 other Boeing whistleblowers.

Knowles noted that the Charleston, South Carolina, police are still finishing the investigation into Barnett’s death and that testing will soon reveal more information about Dean’s death.

Company Under Pressure

Boeing has been under pressure following a series of safety incidents with its aircraft earlier this year. Its CEO, Dave Calhoun, announced in March that he will step down at the end of the year following the crisis.

The company came under increased scrutiny last month when several witnesses, including two whistleblowers, testified before the Senate about the company’s practices.

Boeing is today due to launch its long-awaited first crewed flight of its Starliner spacecraft, which will take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida with two NASA astronauts on board.

Liftoff is scheduled to be at 10:34 pm local time and comes at a tense moment for the aviation company.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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