Garth Brooks awarded $1 million in suit against hospital
By Steve Olafson
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - An Oklahoma jury decided in favor of native son superstar singer Garth Brooks on Tuesday, saying a hospital company defrauded him by accepting a $500,000 donation and failing to honor his request to name a building for his late mother.
The jury decided on Tuesday evening to award Brooks $1 million, according to Hardy Watkins, vice president of marketing and communications for the hospital company, Integris Health.
The total includes Brooks's original donation as actual damages plus another $500,000 in punitive damages.
Brooks made the donation in 2005 and said in the lawsuit he had a verbal deal with the president of Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital to have a women's center named after his mother, Colleen, who died of cancer in 1999.
Integris is the largest health care system in Oklahoma.
According to court documents, James Moore, the hospital president, said that no promises were ever made to Brooks but that discussions were held about the possibilities.
Brooks had an anonymous $500,000 check sent to the hospital in December 2005, but it wasn't until a few weeks later, after Brooks called the hospital, that hospital officials said they knew the check was sent by the country music legend.
Brooks sued Integris Rural Health Inc. in 2009 after the hospital refused to return his donation. Continued...