Second Boeing Whistleblower Dies Suddenly of Illness

Second Boeing Whistleblower Dies Suddenly of Illness

( – A former Spirit AeroSystems quality auditor employee, Joshua Dean, died a sudden and tragic death on April 30. Spirit is a supplier for the Boeing company, and Dean became a whistleblower regarding the manufacturing of the 737 MAX. This is a series of airplanes that have experienced safety issues and crashes over the past few years.

An earlier death of another Boeing whistleblower, John Barnett, occurred in early March. Despite his apparent self-inflicted death, the investigation remains incomplete.

Dean’s family announced his death on social media, stating that he had gotten an infection, MRSA, a staph bacterium that is antibiotic-resistant. Because of the infection, he developed pneumonia and influenza B. A CT scan revealed that he had also suffered a stroke.

The 45-year-old whistleblower had enjoyed good health and led a healthy lifestyle, according to sources close to the family. His condition quickly became critical only two weeks prior to his death, prompting the hospital to put him on dialysis and intubate him.

Dean’s extremities became blackened due to the infections, which made the doctors consider amputation just before he died. Kristen Dean, his sister-in-law, stated that she had never heard of anyone being in a worse condition than Dean.

As the quality auditor, he raised concerns in October 2022 with Spirit regarding the low standards at the Boeing manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas. According to a lawsuit filed in December 2023, there were too many defects found in the parts produced, along with lax quality management practices.

According to the lawsuit, Dean maintained that Spirit did nothing regarding his reporting in October 2022 and hid the issues he had brought to their attention. He believed the termination of his employment in April 2023 was a punishment for reporting on the defects.

Then, in August 2023, an independent report revealed that the issues Dean reported to Spirit had substance. The report did not elaborate any further.

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