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Boeing Supplier Spirit Aerosystems Files Lawsuit Against Texas Attorney General’s Safety Probe

Safety Concerns Surrounding Spirit Aerosystems and Boeing Parts Supplier Investigation

Spirit Aerosystems, a Boeing supplier, has filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, alleging that his investigation into the company’s safety practices has a questionable law enforcement purpose. This article explores the details of the lawsuit, the background of safety concerns, and the potential implications for both Spirit Aerosystems and Boeing.

Safety Probe and Allegations:
In late March, Attorney General Ken Paxton opened an investigation into Spirit Aerosystems due to recurring issues with certain airplane parts provided to Boeing. This decision came after an Alaskan Airlines 737 MAX experienced a midair blowout of a door panel, necessitating an emergency landing. Spirit Aerosystems alleges that Paxton’s demand for internal documents and other information is unlawful and raises legal concerns. The company believes that these requests violate the U.S. Constitution’s right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Whistleblower Deaths:
The same day Spirit Aerosystems filed the lawsuit against Paxton, its former quality auditor, Joshua “Josh” Dean, passed away from a sudden, fast-spreading infection. Dean had come forward as a whistleblower against Boeing in 2012, alleging that the company ignored numerous problems with the 737 MAX. He is the second Boeing-related whistleblower to die, following John “Mitch” Barnett, who died from an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound on the morning of a court appearance. Both men were represented by the same attorney and sought to testify about persistent quality-control problems within Boeing and its supplier, Spirit Aerosystems.

Constitutional Concerns and Critical Supplier Status:
Spirit Aerosystems argues that Paxton’s investigation lacks a connection to events occurring in Texas and, therefore, has a questionable law enforcement purpose. The company operates only one facility in Texas, which focuses on maintenance and repair and employs only 98 out of its 20,655 total employees. Furthermore, Spirit Aerosystems states that it does not manufacture any part, in Kansas, Texas, or elsewhere, that allegedly failed in incidents involving Boeing 737 aircraft.

Implications for Boeing:
As a critical supplier of fuselages for Boeing, including the 737 MAX, Spirit Aerosystems’ legal battle and safety concerns hold significant implications for the aircraft manufacturer. The Department of Justice is also investigating whether the Alaskan Airlines incident breached a deferred prosecution agreement with Boeing, which was set to expire shortly after the safety probe was initiated. Additionally, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has announced his intention to step down by the end of the year as scrutiny surrounding the company’s safety practices intensifies.

The lawsuit filed by Spirit Aerosystems against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sheds light on the safety concerns surrounding the company and its role as a Boeing parts supplier. With allegations of questionable law enforcement purpose and constitutional violations, this legal battle could have far-reaching consequences for both Spirit Aerosystems and Boeing. As investigations continue and public scrutiny grows, it remains essential for manufacturers to prioritize passenger safety and maintain the required standards set by the law.

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