Photo: Joshua Dean

May 6, 2024

Joshua Dean, a 45-year old former mechanical engineer and quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems, became a whistleblower and died on May 1, 2024. Dean alleged that Spirit leadership ignored manufacturing defects on the 737 MAX. When he brought this up with management, he said that nothing was done about it. So he filed a safety complaint with the FAA. He was fired and said that Spirit had used him as a scapegoat while they lied to the agency about the defects. Dean was known for being healthy, but before his death, he had trouble breathing. He went to the hospital, was intubated, and developed pneumonia and MRSA, a serious bacterial infection. He was put on a machine and was in critical care for two weeks, doctors considered amputating both hands and both feet to stop the infection, but he died.

Dean was represented by the South Carolina law firm that represented Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, who was found dead in an ‘apparent suicide’ in March in Charleston.

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