The whistle­blower who accused the Boeing supplier of ignoring defects died

Al Jazeera English

A whistleblower who accused a Boeing supplier of ignoring defects in the production of the 737 MAX has died, family members and his lawyer have said.
Dean’s lawyer Brian Knowles said his client’s death was a “loss to the aviation community and the flying public”.
“He possessed tremendous courage to stand up for what he felt was true and right and raised quality and safety issues.
Otherwise, safety and quality are truly not these companies’ top priorities,” Knowles told Al Jazeera.
Spirit AeroSystems said the company’s thoughts were with his family.
Dean’s death comes less than two months after Boeing whistleblower John Barnett was found dead from what South Carolina authorities said was an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Spirit AeroSystems has been under scrutiny since it emerged that it built the door panel that blew out of a 737 MAX 9 in mid-flight in January.
Dean told US outlet NPR in February that he believed he had been fired to send a message to others thinking of speaking out.

NEUTRAL

According to his lawyer and family, a whistleblower who accused a Boeing supplier of neglecting 737 MAX production flaws has passed away.

According to posts on social media by his aunts and sister, Joshua Dean, a former employee of Spirit AeroSystems who claimed he was fired in retaliation for pointing out inadequate standards at the business’s manufacturing facility in Wichita, Kansas, passed away on Tuesday following an unexpected illness.

According to Brian Knowles, Dean’s attorney, his client’s passing was a “loss to the aviation community and the flying public.”.

“He raised concerns about quality and safety and showed incredible courage in standing up for what he believed to be true and right. Companies involved in aviation should support and reward individuals who voice these concerns. Otherwise, these businesses genuinely do not prioritize quality and safety,” Knowles told Al Jazeera.

Spirit AeroSystems stated that its thoughts were with his family.

A representative for Spirit told Al Jazeera, “This sudden loss is stunning news here at Spirit and for his loved ones.”.

Last month, Dean’s mother said on Facebook that her son was “fighting for his life” after becoming infected with MRSA, which led to pneumonia and a stroke.

Dean, 45, had “been in good health and was noted for having a healthy lifestyle,” according to The Seattle Times, which broke the initial news of his passing.

Dean passed away less than two months after Boeing whistleblower John Barnett was discovered dead from what South Carolina police described as a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Barnett, 62, was in the middle of giving a deposition in a lawsuit against Boeing when, according to his attorneys, he was targeted for retaliation for disclosing safety issues with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Since it was revealed that Spirit AeroSystems manufactured the door panel that burst off a 737 MAX 9 in midair in January, the company has come under fire.

The latest in a string of events that have raised questions about safety standards at Boeing is the near-disaster involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, which is the focus of multiple investigations.

Dean had testified in a shareholder lawsuit against Spirit and had filed a complaint against the company with the Federal Aviation Administration, citing major quality violations at the production facility.

In order to send a message to others considering speaking out, Dean told US outlet NPR in February that he thought he had been fired.

“We will silence you if you get too loud,” he was reported to have said.

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