Woman injured in 2005 crash sues MSO

September 29, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A Hagerstown woman is suing Maryland Symphony Orchestra Inc., its orchestra manager and an insurance company for $100,000 over an April 2005 car accident, according to court records.

Elisa Devore said Sharon Ahrens, manager of the orchestra, caused her to swerve into a guardrail after Ahrens crossed the median of Interstate 70, west of Md. 66, on April 19, 2005, and struck head-on the car in front of her, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Devore "suffered substantial injuries to the vast majority of her body ... It would be a shorter list of body parts that weren't injured," her attorney, Samuel K. Rensin of Rensin & Rosenstein in Riverdale, Md., said Thursday.

Andrew Kipe, executive director of the orchestra, said Thursday he had no comment on the lawsuit.

The driver of the car that was hit head-on, Autumn Cheree Mendoza, 23, of Hagerstown, was killed. Mendoza's 1-year-old son, Christian Domingo Mendoza, was taken to Washington County Hospital. Police at the time said he was not seriously injured.


Devore claims she was "forced to take immediate evasive action in order to avoid impact with the two vehicles and subsequently struck a guardrail" when Ahrens crossed from the westbound lanes of Interstate 70, according to the lawsuit.

She claims Ahrens was the "sole, proximate and exclusive cause" of the accident, according to the lawsuit.

Ahrens was returning from a symphony rehearsal when the accident occurred, according to reports.

Devore claims in the lawsuit that Ahrens was "acting on (the symphony's) behalf under their control at their discretion and for their betterment" at the time of the accident.

She claims in the lawsuit that Ahrens' insurance did not sufficiently cover her injuries.

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