Whistleblower who accused Boeing supplier of ignoring 737 Max defects has died

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A former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems, who accused his company of  ignoring defects in the production of the 737 MAX, has died.

Joshua Dean, 45, passed away on the morning of April 30, 2024.

Dean’s family told American media publication NPR that he had fallen into a critical condition after being diagnosed with a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterial infection.

Dean’s aunts, Carol Dean Parsons and Jenny Dean, posted about his death on social media Facebook.

Dean alleged that he was fired by Spirit AeroSystems for flagging concerns about improperly drilled holes in the fuselage of Boeing 737 Max jets.

He then filed a complaint against Spirit AeroSystems with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and testified in a shareholder lawsuit against the company.

Spirit AeroSystems told Al Jazeera that the company’s thoughts were with his family.

“This sudden loss is stunning news here at Spirit and for his loved ones,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Dean’s passing comes less than two months after Boeing whistleblower John Barnett was found dead from what authorities say appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Barnett was in the midst of a lawsuit against Boeing after suffering retaliation for exposing safety problems with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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