Another Boeing Whistleblower Dies Unexpectedly

( – A second Boeing whistleblower, Joshua Dean, 44, died following an infection that came on suddenly.

According to his aunt, Carol Parsons, Dean was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago after having trouble breathing. He died after spending two weeks in critical condition after he developed pneumonia and contracted MRSA, a fast-spreading, antibiotic-resistant staph infection. Parsons said what Dean went through, “fighting for his life,” was “heartbreaking.”

Before he was fired in April 2023, the quality auditor who worked for Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems reported faulty components were manufactured at the Wichita, Kansas, plant for Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft. He noted that on the production line for the plane, there was “serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management” in a complaint filed with the Federal Aviation Administration. An FAA investigation completed in November 2023 found Dean’s allegations had substance.

He was also deposed as part of the Spirit shareholder lawsuit filed in December 2023, which alleged the issues Dean flagged in October 2022 were “concealed” from investors until August 2023, when independent reporting uncovered the same problems.

After he was fired, Dean alleged that Spirit fired him for speaking out and filed a retaliation complaint with federal labor officials.

The same law firm that represented Dean also represented Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, 62, who was found dead outside his hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. His March death occurred while Barnett was giving depositions against Boeing in connection with his retaliation lawsuit. Barnett alleged he was fired after he exposed safety issues with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Police continue to investigate Barnett’s death.

Dean’s death comes as the FAA continues to investigate Boeing following the Jan. 5 incident where a door plug flew off of an Alaska Airlines flight while the plane was flying at 16,000 feet. In March, the FAA gave an update on its investigation, stating that “in Boeing’s manufacturing process control,” it had identified “non-compliance issues.”

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