October 21, 2020

Hospital must pay $1M to Garth Brooks

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Country singer Garth Brooks

CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma hospital in Garth Brooks’ hometown must pay $1 million to the country singer because it failed to build a women’s health centre in honour of his late mother, jurors ruled Tuesday evening.

Jurors ruled that the hospital must return a $500,000 donation to Brooks plus pay him $500,000 in punitive damages in Brooks’ breach-of-contract lawsuit against IntegrisCanadian Valley Regional Hospital in Yukon. Brooks said he thought he’d reached a deal in 2005 with the hospital’s president, James Moore, but sued after learning the hospital wanted to use the money for other construction projects.

The hospital argued that Brooks gave it unrestricted access to the $500,000 donation and only later asked that it build a women’s centre and name it after his mother, Colleen Brooks, who died of cancer in 1999.

“Obviously we are disappointed, particularly with the jury’s decision to award damages above and beyond the $500,000,” Integris spokesman Hardy Watkins said. “We’re just glad to see the case come to a resolution.”

Brooks called the jurors “heroes” and said he felt vindicated by their verdict. “I no longer feel like I’m crazy,” he said.

Jury member Beverly Lacy said she voted in favour of Brooks because she thought the hospital went back on its word. As far as the punitive damages, she said: “We wanted to show them not to do that anymore to anyone else.”

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