Joshua Dean boeing whistleblower
© X/@malininworldJoshua Dean was an ex-employee of Spirit AeroSystems, aircraft manufacturer that produces crucial components, such as the fuselage for Boeing.
Boeing whistleblower and former Spirit AeroSystems quality auditor Joshua 'Josh' Dean (45) died on Tuesday morning, his family have confirmed. He is the second Boeing whistleblower to pass away in the span of two months.

Dean was fired from Spirit AeroSystems (one of Boeing's main suppliers) shortly after alleging management ignored complaints of serious manufacturing quality defects on the Boeing 737 Max. He then filed an official complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alleging "serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management".

"After I was fired, Spirit AeroSystems [initially] did nothing to inform the FAA and the public," he wrote in his initial complaint.

Dean's family confirmed he died on Tuesday morning due to a serious bacterial infection called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which led to multiple other symptoms across his body.

Carol Parsons, Dean's aunt, told the Seattle Times Dean was in critical condition for two weeks before his death. He had developed pneumonia and had trouble breathing, suffered a stroke, and allegedly had doctors contemplate amputating both of his hands and feet.

"It was brutal what he went through," she said.

Dean was coincidentally represented by the same law firm as John 'Mitch' Barnett (62), another Boeing whistleblower who died from an apparent suicide in March this year. Barnett had provided testimony against Boeing just 12 hours before his death, and was set to undergo further questioning in just a few days. The investigation into Barnett's death is still ongoing.

However, lawyer Brian Knowles stressed the tragic timing of these deaths was not cause for suspicion.

"Whistleblowers are needed," he told the Seattle Times.

"They bring to light wrongdoing and corruption in the interests of society. It takes a lot of courage to stand up.

"It's a difficult set of circumstances. Our thoughts now are with John's family and Josh's family."

"Our thoughts are with Josh Dean's family," said Spirit spokesperson Joe Buccino in a statement.

"This sudden loss is stunning news here and for his loved ones."

Boeing is yet to make a statement.