That's strange.

Intense Allegations

Another whistleblower who had testified about Boeing's safety protocols has died.

As the Seattle Times reports, Joshua Dean, a former quality auditor with Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems who raised concerns about its manufacturing process and allegedly substandard parts, has died after a two-week-long battle with a fast-acting infection at the age of 45.

The former auditor was said to be in good health before he got sick and began having significant trouble breathing. Soon after entering the hospital, he developed both pneumonia and the rapidly-spreading staph infection MRSA, and ultimately succumbed to the latter.

Based in Wichita, Kansas, Dean had been fired by Spirit — which was spun out from Boeing nearly 20 years ago in an outsourcing push and shouldn't be confused with the discount flight company Spirit Airlines — in April 2023 after he repeatedly tried to sound alarm bells about the manufacturing processes for parts that went into Boeing's 737 jets, as the Seattle Times previously reported.

Trial by Fire

After it was discovered that he'd missed a separate manufacturing flaw in the 737 parts, Spirit sacked Dean. He then filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration and a whistleblower complaint with the Department of Labor, alleging that managers ignored safety concerns and mistakes and that he'd been fired wrongfully.

He also gave testimony in a shareholder lawsuit against Boeing in December 2023 that ended up partially going public the next month in the aftermath of the shocking mid-air fuselage blowout aboard a 737 operated by Alaska Airlines.

Dean had also been represented in his ongoing whistleblower efforts by Brian Knowles, the same attorney who'd been working with Boeing whistleblower John Barnett when he was found dead from an allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wound in March.

While Knowles and his co-counsel Rob Turkewitz suggested in statements to Futurism that there may have been foul play involved in Barnett's death, the attorney told the Seattle Times that at this time, he didn't want to speculate about Dean's.

"It’s a difficult set of circumstances," the lawyer said. "Our thoughts now are with John’s family and Josh’s family."

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