Garth Brooks demands $500,000 donation back

Country singer Garth Brooks is suing to get back a $500,000 donation he made in 2005 to the Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in his hometown of Yukon, Oklahoma. Brooks claims the hospital showed him mock ups of buildings bearing his late mother’s name and told him the money would be used for such a project. In the two years following Brooks’ generous donation, hospital officials discussed possible ways his mother’s name would be used, including a new women’s center or even renaming the hospital — which they said would cost anywhere from $250,000 to $15 million. However, in 2008, the hospital informed Brooks they were not planning to use his mother’s name after all. When he asked for his money back, they refused to return it, saying the donation was an “unconditional” gift.

Hospital spokesman Hardy Watkins said Brooks “was not satisfied with the options we were offering,” adding, “We certainly wish it did not have to come to this.” Brooks’ spokeswoman said her client was “stunned and hurt” by the company’s refusal to name any part of the hospital after his mother. Many of the people going through jury selection on Tuesday admitted they were fans of Brooks and his wife,  country singer Trisha Yearwood, who accompanied him to court. The hospital’s lawyer asked potential jurors to ignore the fact that Brooks is a celebrity and although many admitted they were fans, none were removed from consideration. The trial began Wednesday and will continue through the week.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. anonymous2 • January 19, 2012 @ 12:56 AM

    I guess he’s hard up for money.

  2. anon • January 19, 2012 @ 9:37 AM

    The money should be returned, a verbal contract was made and not followed thru with!!

  3. Carlie • January 19, 2012 @ 10:28 AM

    What’s their problem? If someone gives you a half million to name something for his mother, f**king name something after his mother. How difficult is that? Now they’re wasting money by going to court, they could have save the time and money by just naming something like they said they would. If I lived in that area, I would not give one dime to a hospital who wasted money by going to court for something this stupid.

  4. Mary • January 19, 2012 @ 11:20 AM

    What a bunch of idiots!!! How insensitive they are but greed trumps all, doesn’t it?? Id take them to the cleaners if I were you Garth, they deserve it. HOW can they take half a million dollars from someone promising to name something after his mother and then just renege on that. Not right and if he has the money to sue….go for it!!! Hope their donations go down after this, they don’t deserve peoples’ money if they can’t deliver on their promises.

  5. James • January 19, 2012 @ 12:27 PM

    Judging from the way this article was written, it was not an “unconditional gift” as the Hospital bribed Garth Brooks, by saying they would use his mother’s name on whatever the money went to. Although, considering the obvious omition of any more facts between the sentence mentioning the potential costs of the project in 2005, and the end result in 2008, any opinions one might have on this matter are completely worthless.

  6. jjjones • January 19, 2012 @ 12:43 PM

    Not good for the Hospital. Fans or not, they jury should see that they are in the wrong. Garth probably wouldn’t have given as much if it weren’t for the fact that they promised to name something after his mother. They should recognize how generous a gift got and just bite the bullet and name a wing after her or a lab or something. How hard can that be and now they have to waste time and money on court. There goes half the donation, that’s that wasteful and dumb.

  7. jjjones • January 19, 2012 @ 12:45 PM

    Funny how many typos you make when you don’t proofread your work. Sorry for the mistakes.

  8. Lucky • January 19, 2012 @ 12:51 PM

    I completely agree… how difficult would it have been for the hospital to name a wing after his mother? The gift was generous and although the “contract” was verbal it should be binding. The amount of time and costs to have this trial is utterly ridiculous and although I agree with returning the money, I would prefer if the hospital simply chose to honor their agreement.

  9. Wendy • January 19, 2012 @ 2:44 PM

    A deal is a deal…they should have lived up to their end of the contract and if they could not meet their obligation they should have notified the donor.

  10. Bunnie • January 19, 2012 @ 3:01 PM

    They’ve also blown any future donations from this man. Dumb move on their part. Should have shown him more respect.

  11. Carol • January 19, 2012 @ 3:18 PM

    Mr. Brooks is within his rights – verbal contract or not. The hospital board should be ashamed!
    Go Garth!

  12. Donna Bickerton • January 19, 2012 @ 5:41 PM

    Here we go again. Another administration who think they get to do whatever they want and change the rules to suit themselves. This was a verbal agreement and should be honored. Is there no consideration of the people who will suffer because of this dumb move by the hospital board? I can’t believe this is even happening. I don’t blame Mr. Brooks. It is a matter of principle. I say fire the stupid hospital board. Just look at what they are costing the hospital now.

  13. Rita • January 19, 2012 @ 6:12 PM

    Carlie – I couldn’t have said it better than you!! If the hospital had no intentions of naming a building after his mother, then why did they discuss it in the 1st place for Two Years??!!!! If they thought about a subject that long; you’d think they would agree to it. If I had that kind of money handed to me, it would be discussed for 30 min. at the most. If he/she was So Generous, I’d say Yes, that’s the least I can do for you and your treasured Mother!! I wish I could donate that much and have my Mom’s name on an important building! How can a hospital sit around and discuss something, for so long and have 500,000 in their pockets, for Two Years? When Tons of People can’t afford HealthCare??? Doesn’t seem Right to me.

  14. Muriel • January 19, 2012 @ 6:21 PM

    I hope he does get his money back. It’s pathetic to say the least that a hospital would act in such a manner. What is this world coming to…. He has an amazing gift, has worked hard for his money all his musical career life, promises were made to him by the hospital, and then broken. Even spoken word is a binding contract and the hospital knows this. If I was him with that kind of money why not build a centre in his mothers name….. I’m sure more musicians would share in this cause…. and i’m sure it would be better spent there than in a hospital such as this one.

  15. Fraydeecat • January 19, 2012 @ 7:16 PM

    I worked at a hospital for 14 years. They’re very corrupt and donation money rarely gets to where it was intended. I’d never donate to one now, not because I’m a disgruntled employee but because of what I’ve seen over all those years.

  16. S • January 19, 2012 @ 10:56 PM

    I agree with the speculation that it was a verbal contract, therefore Garth should get his money back. What I don’t agree with is that it always seems to come down to lawyers. A very broad generalization I know, but in situations like this, it could potentially do more harm than good.

    People still need hospitals, they need the service provided, and that requires money and funding. A legal battle is simply going to take more money away from patients who need some form of treatment/care.

    Not every legal dispute has to end up in court.

  17. Silly celebrities • January 20, 2012 @ 12:54 AM

    Earlier reports say the donation was given anonymously, then Brooks called and informed the hospital that it was from him and made the request. He made the request after the donation was given. The hospital and Brooks couldn’t agree on what to do so they said see ya and kept the originally anonymous donation. What dumbass gives the money BEFORE the contract or decision was made? Verbal contracts mean nothing, ask any child in any school!

  18. Silly celebrities • January 20, 2012 @ 12:56 AM

    Not to mention, you couldn’t renovate a wing in any hospital for $500 000, nevermind build an entire women’s centre. That takes billions. Is he planning on forking that over?

  19. Fraydeecat • January 20, 2012 @ 1:41 AM

    Silly, I don’t see anywhere in the article that the money was given as an anonymous donation. Instead, the hospital officials enticed Brooks to donate by misleading him to think that a hospital wing, or the hospital itself would be named in honour of his mother. They continued on with this fiasco for two years after he’d given the money and then informed him that they wouldn’t name anything after his mother. The hospital should be charged for “baiting” to get donations under false pretenses. In spite of how wealthy Garth is, I think half a million is very generous donation for anyone to give.

  20. Christine • January 20, 2012 @ 4:00 AM

    This story saddens me. Charity should be given because it’s the moral thing to do, not for public recognition. I hope that he doesn’t get his money back. Garth should be ashamed of himself. I don’t think that the hospital has any legal obligation to meet the silly expectations of a deluded vain man.

  21. gbh999 • January 20, 2012 @ 5:38 AM

    This little problem of not carrying through on a contract, can be cleared up, real quick. All Garth has to do is bring a lawsuit for $50 million dollars. $500,000.00 because the hospital reneged on the original stipulation. And $49,500,000.00 because the fools hurt his feelings.

  22. Jane • January 20, 2012 @ 11:01 AM

    I think he’s just being really petty. So the deal fell through. Are you going to take back the money, that you can AFFORD to give, from a HOSPITAL that needs it more than you do? LET IT GO GARTH!

  23. sandie • January 20, 2012 @ 3:49 PM

    i agree that he should get the money back. there was an agreement and the hospital reneged. hopefully he will give it to some other hospital or charity who will actually appreciate it

  24. Catherine • January 22, 2012 @ 7:38 AM

    Shame on you Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital. I hope you get what is coming to you, and I don’t mean Garth Brooks money. I hope future donators turn their backs on you and your corrupt institution.

  25. ALEXIS IOANNIDIS • January 25, 2012 @ 12:32 PM

    I don’t like the comments that donations should drop because of this incident, or that hospitals are corrupt. Hospitals need money and Yes, they do a great deal of good. I believe it is very important that we all donate to hospitals whether it is money or time. However, I hope that Garth Wins, and does not take the money back. Common’ he does not need the money! It is about the principle! Perhaps they are taking advantage of the fact of whom he is. Or there was no decent apology and a promise for the future. And to ask for more money is not right either. Shame on the hospital board or legal department. Don’t promise if you cannot deliver. WHen others donate are they promised wings will be named after them? Probably not. If you promise something then you should deliver. I agree with the others, they could have found something to name after his mom, instead of wasting money in court. PLus they probably would have received more donations throughout the years to come from Mr. Brooks if they had kept their word. Even if 500K is not enough- it was promised verbally. Someone is not taking care of business. Petty or not, it is the principle. I’m glad to hear of Mr. Garth Brooks taking the time to teach the hospital about integrity. But – let US be bigger than that and NOT forget the good that hospitals do. You never know you may need one, one day?

  26. Roger • January 27, 2012 @ 9:31 AM

    How many other people did this hospital make commitments to? They probably had a dozen different people that they told would have naming rights.

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