Garth Brooks Sues Hospital Over $500,000 Donation
Perhaps inspired by the lyrics of his hit song, "Do What You Gotta Do," country music star Garth Brooks has sued his hometown hospital for allegedly not using his $500,000 donation for what he says he and the hospital agreed it would.
The singer says he made the donation to Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital of Yukon, Okla., in 2005, after the hospital promised to name a building after his mother, Colleen Brooks, who died of cancer in 1999.
Brooks says hospital officials had courted him for two years, soliciting a donation to honor his late mother. He says they showed him mockups of a building in the hospital complex bearing his mother's name in neon lights and planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony introducing the Colleen Brooks building to the public.
But then, Brooks' attorneys say, almost three years after the donation, the hospital told the singer his donation would be "used for what Integris had 'earmarked' the money for, without further discussion."
His suit seeks the full $500,000 donation back.
In court filings, the hospital says his donation was "anonymous and unconditional" and that Brooks changed his tune by adding conditions to the gift after it was given.
"Unfortunately, talks broke down or did not continue or Mr. Brooks was not satisfied with the options we were offering, and that's when he decided to sue," hospital spokesman Hardy Watkins said Tuesday before the trial began.
Brooks' spokeswoman Tuesday described the musician as "stunned and hurt" by the hospital's failure to name anything for his mother.
Brooks made an appearance Tuesday afternoon in an Oklahoma courtroom where jury selection for his case was finalized. He was accompanied by his wife, fellow country superstar Trisha Yearwood.
None of the potential jurors were removed from consideration, even though nearly every member raised their hands when the singer's lawyer asked whether they had heard of Brooks, according to the Associated Press .
The judge swore in 12 jurors and planned to pick an alternate. Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin today.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.