Another whistleblower who accused Boeing of safety violations dies suddenly

 May 2, 2024

Eyebrows were raised earlier this year over the death of a man who had previously raised concerns regarding airplane safety at Boeing.

He wasn't the only Boeing whistleblower to meet a sudden end, as Newsweek reported that another man died suddenly this week. 

Joshua Dean succumbed to an illness on Tuesday

According to the magazine, the family of Joshua Dean announced on Tuesday that he had passed away due to a sudden illness.

Dean was employed as a quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems and had accused the company of ignoring manufacturing defects in the 737 MAX jet series.

The Boeing 737 Max has been associated with a number of high profile mishaps, such as in January when the door came off a plane as it was leaving from Portland International Airport.

Portland's KOIN reported late last month that Alaska Airlines was awarded $160 million in initial compensation in response to the incident, with additional compensation to be paid at a later date.

Lawsuit filed by Dean alleged "serious and gross misconduct" in safety

Newsweek noted that in October of 2022, Dean had identified failures to meet quality standards "excessive amount of defects" at a Boeing manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas.

A lawsuit filed by Dean the following year alleged that Spirit "concealed" the issues he had identified until they were independently identified 10 months later.

Dean further accused Spirit of attempting to "scapegoat and silence him" in retaliation for his having exposed "serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the 737 production line."

A spokesperson for Spirit commented on Dean's death, telling Newsweek, "Our thoughts are with Josh Dean's family. This sudden loss is stunning news here at Spirit and for his loved ones."

"If anything happens to me, it's not suicide"

Newsweek noted that Dean's death came just over a month and a half after fellow whistleblower John Barnett died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Barnett's body was found alongside a silver handgun on March 13 in his car at a Charleston, South Carolina hotel parking lot.

A woman who is said to be a friend of Barnett's family told WCIV that he previously said, "If anything happens to me, it's not suicide."

"I know he did not commit suicide there's no way. He loved life too much, he loved his family too much, he loved his brothers too much to put them through what they're going through right now," she insisted.

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