Garth Brooks Says Hospital Lawsuit Is About Honoring His Mother
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - Garth Brooks is suing Integris Hospital in Yukon saying it didn't own up to its part of a deal after Brooks donated half a million dollars.
For Garth Brooks, this lawsuit isn't about money, but about honoring his late mother's legacy, Collen Brooks, who lost her battle to cancer in 1999. He wants to do that by winning this lawsuit.
"Don't forget what this is all about. It's about my mom. It's about her honor," Brooks said.
Jury selection started Tuesday. When jurors walked in the court room, they were shocked to see – One, it was Garth Brooks. And two, to find out he was the one that brought forth the lawsuit.
"I just don't want to burn that bridge. You get one shot and one hometown, and I wanted it to be sweet, and it's just not going to turn out this way," Brooks said.
According to court documents, the country star made a half-million-dollar donation to Integris hospital in Yukon back in 2005.
"We gave [the money] in return for having my mom's name put on a women's center," Brooks said. "If you knew my mom, they called her ‘The First Lady of Yukon,' and she was all about young women who got a rough start—that was her life."
Brooks says in exchange for the money, the hospital promised it would name a building after his mother - Collen Brooks. He says he met with hospital administers over a two-year period and they showed him mock-ups of a building with his mother's name in neon lights, and said they would dedicate the building with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
"For three years, I've been taking this crap from them, and now in the next four days, I get to show that there's going to be a lot of character exposed in the next four days, and I'm looking forward to it unfortunately," Brooks said.
Integris says there was no formal agreement and the donation was made anonymously, with no strings attached.
"We certainly recognize the generous donation that we received, but we have lots of donors and we have responsibilities and requirements and follow guidelines," said Hardy Watkins, spokesman for Integris Hospital. "We offered a number of solutions, a number of ideas."
"They sure didn't seem to have any problem accepting the money. And the fact that it's still there, sitting there. They haven't spent it, and you know why they haven't spent it. I'm as clueless as everyone else seems to be," Brooks said.
Garth Brooks is expected to testify. Opening arguments will get underway Wednesday in Rogers County.
The trial could wrap up by the end of this week.