Garth Brooks was hopping mad when he found out the Oklahoma hospital he donated big bucks to would not be building or naming a women's health center in honor of his late mother, Colleen Brooks. Mad enough to sue -- and the jury agreed.
Jurors hearing the case ruled Tuesday that the Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in Yukon, Oklahoma must not only return the $500,000 donation made by Garth Brooks, but also pay him $500,000 in punitive damages for breach-of-contract.
"Obviously we are disappointed, particularly with the jury's decision to award damages above and beyond the $500,000," said Integris spokesman Hardy Watkins of the ruling. "We're just glad to see the case come to a resolution."
The hospital had argued that Garth Brooks gave them unrestricted access to the money, and only later asked for a building to be named in honor of his mother, who died of cancer in 1999.
The singer said the hospital president initially suggested putting his mother's name on an intensive care unit, and when Brooks said that wouldn't fit her image, the president suggested a women's center -- which was never built.
"I jumped all over it," Brooks told jurors in tearful testimony of his initial excitement over the women's center. "It's my mom. My mom was pregnant as a teenager. She had a rough start. She wanted to help every kid out there."
Lawyer John Hickey, arguing Garth Brooks' case, told jurors shortly before they began deliberating, "This case is about promises: Promises made and promises broken. Mr. Brooks kept his promise. Integris never intended to keep their promise and never built a new women's center."
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