Late Boeing Whistleblowers’ Attorney Speaks Out

( — A Boeing aviation worker who went public about safety concerns died on April 30, just weeks after another Boeing whistleblower committed suicide, according to attorneys representing the two men.

Joshua Dean of Wichita, Kansas, died last week after a brief illness. The 45-year-old Dean had been diagnosed with pneumonia, the flu, and MRSA.

According to attorney Robert Turkewitz, Dean’s family is seeking an autopsy due to his sudden death. He said Dean was a healthy man who exercised and ate well, and his sudden decline “just seems odd.”

Dean fell ill two weeks earlier and eventually ended up on a ventilator.

Brian Knowles, Dean’s other attorney, said the whistleblower showed “tremendous courage” for standing up for the truth by raising “quality and safety issues” at Boeing.

Both Knowles and Turkewitz also represented Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, who was found dead in Charleston, South Carolina, on March 9.

According to Charleston police, officers responded to the Holiday Inn following a report from a hotel employee who heard a “pop” coming from the parking lot that morning. The officers found Barnett dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside his vehicle. The gun was still in his hand.

A Boeing employee for 32 years, Barnett filed a whistleblower complaint in 2017 after he retired. Two years later, he came forward publicly.

Turkewitz said at the time that Barnett was in the middle of his deposition in the whistleblower retaliation case against Boeing and had been in “good spirits.”

In an interview last week, Brian Knowles described Dean and Barnett, as well as the other Boeing whistleblowers, as “heroes.” He said they loved Boeing and “wanted to help the company do better.”

Knowles said neither Dean nor Barrett spoke out for notoriety. He said they raised their concerns “because people’s lives are at stake.”

When addressing the conspiracy theories surrounding their deaths, Knowles didn’t want to speculate. He noted that police in Charleston were still investigating Barrett’s death and it would take a few weeks for the autopsy and tests to determine the circumstances behind Dean’s passing.

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