25 Investigates

Family of Webster woman murdered two years ago files suit against pharmaceutical giant

WEBSTER, Mass. — About two and a half years have passed since Amanda Dabrowski was repeatedly stabbed in front of diners at a crowded Worcester restaurant.

Her family eagerly awaits for the day her accused killer, ex-boyfriend Carlos Asencio, goes on trial for the crime. Until then, they say, they will continue to fight for justice for Amanda and other victims of domestic violence.

While they wait, the family is moving forward with a lawsuit they hope gets them closer to justice for Amanda.

Beth and Ed Dabrowski are suing Bristol Myers Squibb, the company that she worked for, and Columbia Consulting, the staffing firm that recruited her for the job.

They allege the companies failed to protect Amanda and claim they knew the suspect was violent and dangerous and hired him anyway. The lawsuit also claims instead of protecting Amanda from alleged abuse the company punished her for it by firing her only a day after she became the victim of domestic violence.

As 25 Investigates reported both Amanda and Carlos worked at Bristol Myers Squibb in Devens, where they met and briefly dated before Amanda broke off the relationship.

According to the lawsuit, “Asencio’s rage and threats directed at Ms. Dabrowski were witnessed by the Bristol-Myers Squibb defendants in the workplace…”

The document goes on to say " “his accusations that she had begun a relationship with another colleague, that she was a slut, threats and offensive gestures including throwing an envelope full of cash toward her on the table of a conference room where he confronted her, and he’s walking up to her in the hallway of the workplace and begging her to take him back…”

Within days of those alleged encounters in April 2019, Asencio is accused of breaking into Amanda’s apartment in Ayer in the middle of the night and trying to kill her.

From there, as 25 Investigates documented, Asencio drove to Canada and hopped a flight to Mexico, fleeing the country. At an unknown date, Carlos managed to re-enter the country undetected. He then allegedly proceeded to track down Amanda. On the night of July 3, 2019, Carlos is accused of walking into O’Connor’s Restaurant in Worcester, where Amanda was attending a book club meeting, and attacking her when she was walking to the restroom.

The lawsuit adds “All defendants violated state and federal law when they terminated her for being hospitalized and temporarily unable to work due to injuries sustained in an armed and nearly fatal domestic violence nighttime home invasion and attack perpetrated by her colleague…The Defendants by their misconduct persuaded him that there would be no consequences for his brutality toward his victim, a co-worker they had placed directly in harm’s way when they initiated unfounded disciplinary inquiries in response to his smears about her to her managers.”

One day after the initial attack in Ayer, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Columbia Consulting terminated Amanda’s employment. Carlos’s employment was eventually terminated too.

25 Investigates’ Kerry Kavanaugh recently caught up with the Dabrowski’s at the unveiling of a new community dog park in Webster in honor of Amanda, who was often seen with her beloved dog, Gus.

The town donated the land and wanted to turn it into something positive for the community. A bench with images of Amanda and Gus is the park’s centerpiece.

“Amanda and Gus will be watching over this park,” said Ed Dabrowski. “We’re just gonna keep fighting. We’ll keep fighting.” Mother Beth added, “Why wouldn’t we keep fighting?”

The lawsuit also says the companies claim they terminated Amanda due to time card fraud, adding that some male workers with vastly more time card discrepancies were not disciplined or terminated.

25 Investigates reached out to Bristol Myers Squibb and Columbia Consulting for comment about the allegations.

We didn’t hear back from Columbia. A spokesperson for Bristol Myers Squibb said: The Bristol Myers Squibb community is deeply saddened by Amanda Dabrowski’s tragic death and we have extended our sympathies to her family. We do not comment on individual personnel matters or on pending litigation. Bristol Myers Squibb has longstanding policies and practices in place to ensure the safety of its workforce and compliance with the law, and we take these concerns seriously.