Boeing Whistleblower’s Mysterious Death Following Manufacturing Revelations Sparks Controversy

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A Boeing whistleblower has died shortly after reporting manufacturing problems. Joshua Dean died from a rapidly spread infection after being terminated as a quality auditor at Spirit AeroSystems, a Boeing supplier.

Dean Barnett, who raised safety issues and defects with Boeing aircraft manufacture, died at 45-years-old.

Dean reported the critical flaws to Spirit AeroSystems by October 2022. Dean claimed that Spirit AeroSystems ignored his concerns. Dean was terminated in April 2023.

Dean (also known as Josh) lived in Wichita, Kansas, where Spirit’s headquarters is located. At 45, he was in good health and led a healthy lifestyle.

Carol Parsons said the man died after two weeks of critical illness.

Joe Buccino, Spirit spokesperson, said, “Our thoughts are with Josh Dean and his loved ones. This is shocking news for Josh Dean’s family and friends.”

Dean took a deposition in a Spirit shareholder lawsuit and filed a Federal Aviation Administration complaint alleging “serious misbehavior and gross negligence” by the senior management team responsible for quality control on the 737 production line.

Spirit terminated Dean’s employment in April of 2023. He filed a complaint with the Department of Labor alleging that Dean’s termination was a result of retaliation for raising concerns about aviation safety.

Dean’s decision to become a whistleblower, and his subsequent dismissal, raises even more serious concerns about the safety measures used by major aerospace companies.

John Barnett was a Boeing whistleblower who lived in South Carolina. He died in March, after “self-inflicting a gunshot wound”.

Barnett has warned about some alarming quality issues ever since he retired in 2017.

Barnett passed away during a break in depositions in a whistleblower lawsuit case retaliation, where he claimed under-pressure workers were deliberately fitting substandard parts on airplanes at the assembly line.

In 2017, the FAA examined his concerns and ordered Boeing to take action.

Brian Knowles said that his client had just given a deposition to Boeing’s lawyers in the case last week.

The circumstances of their deaths are mysterious, considering what they said about Boeing’s production flaws. They both accused Boeing of ignoring safety concerns which could have led to dire consequences for passengers.

Carol Parsons informed reporters that Dean was hospitalized for a respiratory infection.

Parsons’ condition quickly deteriorated, and he was airlifted from Wichita to an Oklahoma City Hospital. The ECMO oxygenates and circulates a patient’s blood outside the body. When a patient’s organs are not working, it also takes over the heart and lung function.

Dean’s mother posted all of these details to Facebook, stating that Dean “fought for his life”.

He was heavily sedated and put on dialysis. A CT scan indicated he had suffered a stroke, his mom’s post said.

Parsons describes the experience as “brutal” and “heartbreaking”.

Boeing’s manufacturing practices have been criticized by other whistleblowers who testified before Congress. Dean Dean’s death has brought this issue to the forefront.