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Lawsuit Alleges Spirit AeroSystems had History of Safety Warnings Prior to 737 MAX Blowout

The Boeing 737 MAX-9 plug door blowout is shedding light on a lawsuit against Spirit AeroSystems brought by shareholders, accusing the manufacturer of ignoring safety concerns.
A lawsuit brought against a major aviation manufacturer accuses the company of missing safety red flags, despite mounting evidence.


The Lever reports the findings were presented in a lawsuit filed against Spirit AeroSystems before the incident aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.


Lawsuit Accuses Manufacturer of Turning Blind Eye to Safety Issues

The action was filed by shareholders of the Boeing spinoff company in May 2023, then amended in December. Spirit reportedly manufactured the door plug that failed aboard the 737 MAX-9. The lawsuit accuses Spirit of creating a hostile work environment for employees reporting safety concerns and defects, while underplaying any quality control issues.


One of the examples from the lawsuit suggests an unnamed employee raised an ethics complaint to the company’s former CEO, saying their team was asked “to purposely record inaccurate information,” and if they didn’t go along with it, they would be “fired on the spot.” The lawsuit then alleges the individual was demoted before being reinstated, while other employees who had similar concerns were shifted to new roles.


Another allegation is in the case of former Spirit employee Joshua Dean, who reportedly found that bulkhead doors were incorrectly drilled during an audit. After several attempts to get the company’s attention through formal channels, the lawsuit claims he was fired months later.


In a statement to The Lever, a spokesperson for Spirit said the company “strongly disagrees with the assertions made by plaintiffs in the amended complaint and intends to vigorously defend against the claims.”


The new allegations comes as Boeing continues their own campaign to find out what happened to cause the blowout on the troubled airframe. NBC News reports during a town hall meeting, Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun said the company would provide “complete transparency every step of the way” in working with the National Transportation Safety Board to determine the cause and rectify it on all aircraft affected.


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Feature image courtesy: Nick Dean/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED