A hospital executive discussed country singer Garth Brooks’ request that the facility return a $500,000 donation in an email to staff members in March 2009, according to trial testimony Thursday.
Brooks wants the Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in his hometown of Yukon to return the money, claiming in a lawsuit that hospital administrators reneged on their pledge to name a part of a medical complex after Colleen Brooks.
The Tulsa World reports that the hospital president’s March 2009 email about Brooks’ request for the money back was discussed during testimony Thursday. The email from CEO and President James Moore stated the hospital “may not deny Garth access to the money,” but could “make him work to get it.”
Moore on Thursday reiterated his earlier testimony that he never made an agreement with Brooks on naming rights in connection with the $500,000. He said the gift from Brooks was anonymous and “unrestricted,” meaning Integris could use the money at its discretion.
Defense attorney Terry Thomas showed jurors a September 2008 email from Brooks to Moore. In it, Brooks said, “… I’m not sure what our understanding is,” but “… we have to come to some agreement …”
Earlier, Moore testified that Brooks considered donating up to $15 million if the facility would rename itself after his mother. An internal document from the hospital quotes Brooks as saying a $15 million gift for naming rights was “exactly” what he had in mind.
Colleen Brooks died of cancer in 1999. A women’s center never was built.