Garth Brooks was awarded $1 million on Tuesday after a court found that an Oklahoma hospital failed to live up to an agreement they reached with the singer in 2005.
In that year Garth Brooks donated $500,000 to the hospital with the understanding that the money would be used to construct a women’s health center that would bare his mother’s name. Later Brooks found out that the hospital planned to use the money for other projects.
A jury found IntegrisCanadian Valley Regional Hospital in breach-of-contract and ordered that they return the original $500,000 and pay Garth Brooks an additional $500,000 in punitive damages.
In tearful testimony in which he talked about his mother Colleen Brooks and her death from cancer in 1999 Brooks said hospital president James Moore initially offered to name an intensive care unit after Mrs. Brooks however Garth felt that it didn’t honor what she was about. It wasn’t until the women’s health center was suggested that Brooks said he made the donation.
“I jumped all over it,” Brooks told jurors. “It’s my mom. My mom was pregnant as a teenager. She had a rough start. She wanted to help every kid out there.”
Hospital officials in the meantime have argued that Brooks provided the money with unrestricted access and only later asked that the money be used to name a building after his mom.
Integris spokesman Hardy Watkins said of the courts decision:
“Obviously we are disappointed, particularly with the jury’s decision to award damages above and beyond the $500,000,” and “We’re just glad to see the case come to a resolution.”
After winning the settlement Garth Brooks called the jurors his “heroes” and added:
“I no longer feel like I’m crazy.”
Speaking in closing arguments Brooks’ lawyer said:
“This case is about promises: promises made and promises broken.” He then added, “Mr. Brooks kept his promise. Integris never intended to keep their promise and never built a new women’s center.”
When all was said and done Garth Brooks said he was simply trying to honor his mother. Perhaps another hospital in need of a women’s health center and $500,000 to construct it will jump in to accept the donation with his mother’s name etched in the buildings facade.