Second Boeing Whistleblower Dies After Raising Safety Concerns


Boeing  (BA) whistleblower Joshua Dean, who was an auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems  (SPR) , has died due to a serious bacterial infection, according to a new report from The Seattle Times. Dean, who was 45, is the second whistleblower to die after calling out Boeing for its alleged faulty quality and safety control practices in its production of several planes.

“Our thoughts are with Josh Dean’s family,” said a spokesperson for Spirit AeroSystems while speaking to The Seattle Times. “This sudden loss is stunning news here and for his loved ones.”

Related: Boeing whistleblower says he received ‘physical threats’ over safety concerns

Joshua Dean’s death

Dean’s aunt, Carol Parsons, confirmed his death with the news outlet and said that he died two weeks after facing serious complications from an MRSA infection (aka staph infection).

More Boeing:

Boeing price target lowered by $40, here’s whyHow Boeing can restore public confidence after safety incidentsBoeing turns lower as 737 Max recovery times cloud earnings update

She said that Dean initially went to the hospital because he was feeling sick and later developed pneumonia and MRSA, and his condition quickly deteriorated. He also had a CT scan where it was revealed that he suffered a stroke.

Dean’s death comes after former Boeing employee John Barret, who flagged concerns over the company’s production practices, was found dead in a vehicle on March 9 from what police described as a “self inflicted gunshot wound.” Barret died one day after he testified in a deposition revealing the safety issues he witnessed at Boeing’s production plant when he was an employee at the company.

Boeing is currently under investigations by the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for its role in the January 5, 2024 incident aboard Alaska Airlines flight 1282.

NTSB via Getty Images

Boeing landed in hot water on Jan. 5 after an Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a door plug blew off of the Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft mid-flight. The incident caught the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration which soon after launched an investigation into Boeing’s safety and quality control practices.

For the past few months, there have been several other scary incidents involving the company’s aircrafts, further heightening safety concerns. According to a recent survey by Airline Ratings, 50% of respondents said that they feel uneasy about Boeing’s recent issues, and 54% said that they prefer to fly with Airbus instead of Boeing.

Joshua Dean vs. Spirit AeroSystems

In 2021, Dean became a quality auditor with Spirit AeroSystems (which builds pieces of Boeing aircraft), and was fired in 2023. Shortly after being fired from the company, Dean filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, claiming that Spirit fired him out of retaliation for speaking up about safety issues.

He later filed a complaint with the FAA claiming that Spirit AeroSystems did not inform the FAA or the public about aft pressure bulkhead defects it faced during manufacturing, an issue of which he claims the company was aware .

Dean was also part of a class-action lawsuit that accused the company of concealing its “widespread quality failures” in its aircraft production from its shareholders.

Related: Boeing accused of hiding information of retaliation against workers

In the lawsuit, which was filed Dec. 19, 2023, he claimed that Boeing was aware of Spirit’s quality control issues and put the company on “probation.” Spirit was supposed to improve its practices in order to get out of the probation, but Dean alleges that the company “undercounted or manipulated” documentation of defects to make it seem like there was quality improvement in its production.

Boeing faces allegations of punishing employees who raise safety concerns

Boeing is currently facing accusations of retaliating against its employees who call out the company’s safety practices. Last month, a union representing Boeing’s workers filed a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board claiming that the company retaliated against employees who were trying to comply with FAA guidance while manufacturing its airplanes. The union also accused Boeing of trying to “hide information” that would reveal more details of alleged retaliation at the company.

Also, on April 17, Boeing whistleblower Sam Salehpour revealed during a Congressional hearing that he faced backlash as an employee at Boeing for raising manufacturing concerns with management. He also claimed that he received “physical threats” and a phone call from his boss through his personal phone where he was “berated” and “chewed out” for flagging safety issues.

View the original article to see embedded media.

Related: Veteran fund manager picks favorite stocks for 2024

Events Calendar

Georgia Newswire