Garth Brooks Wins Suit Against Hospital, Awarded $500K In Punitive Damages
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - A Rogers County jury has ruled in Garth Brooks' favor in his lawsuit against a Yukon hospital. The jury agreed that the country music superstar had a contract with Integris, and the hospital violated that contract.
The jury found Integris acted with fraud, intentional malice and reckless disregard for others.
The jury awarded Brooks $500,000 in actual damages and additional $500,000 in punitive damages, the maximum agreed by both sides.
Brooks donated $500,000 to Integris Canadian Valley Hospital with the understanding that a women's clinic would be named after his late mother.
Brooks lost his mother Colleen to cancer in 1999. Court documents say his father was first approached by Integris in 2003 or 2004 about a donation in her honor. According to Brooks' lawsuit, the singer and hospital had a number of meetings over the next two years where Integris showed him mockups of hospital buildings with Colleen Brooks' name in neon lights.
Brooks donated $500,000 in late 2005. Documents say that in September of 2008, Integris informed Brooks that the donation would be used for other projects.
The hospital said that they followed the law in regards to the Internal Revenue Service and best donor practices. They say because the donation was made anonymously, it could be used without restrictions.
Brooks' attorney said this was a very personal transaction for Brooks and Integris took advantage of his love for his mother.
They said awarding Brooks the maximum allowed for punitive damages would not affect Integris much financially, but will send a message that they can't treat other donors this way.
Records show Integris Health made over $200 million in revenue in 2005, the year the donation was made.
Garth Brooks was very thankful for the verdict and called the jurors heroes.
The trial began Wednesday, January 17, 2012 in a Rogers County courtroom.
Coming up at 5 p.m. on the News On 6, anchor Lori Fullbright has a one-on-one interview with Garth Brooks as well as an interview with one of the Rogers County jurors.