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Garth Brooks Suing Oklahoma Hospital Over Naming Rights


"stunned and hurt"

The Country music star is suing an Oklahoma hospital that he says reneged on a promise to name a building after his late mother in exchange for a $500,000 donation. The trial at the Rogers County District Court begins Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Country music star Garth Brooks is suing an Oklahoma hospital, claiming it refused to name a building after his late mother after he gave it $500,000.

Brooks said he made the half-million dollar donation to Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in 2005 after the hospital promised to name a building after his mother, Colleen Brooks, who died of cancer in 1999, ABC News reported. According to the lawsuit, hospital officials showed him mock-ups of buildings with his mother's name in neon lights and even planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

But nearly three years later, ABC reported, Brooks was told the donation would be used for what the hospital had "earmarked" it for, without further explanation.

Brooks filed a breach of contract lawsuit and is suing to get his full donation back, as well as seeking punitive damages, the Tulsa World reported. The trial began Tuesday.

The hospital maintains the donation was an "unconditional" gift and that it did nothing wrong by not using it to name a building after the singer's mother, according to the Associated Press.

"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.

According to the Tulsa World, Brooks' attorney said Tuesday much of the case would hinge on an oral contract.

"Not all contracts are written," Peter Brolick said.

In a statement, Brooks' spokeswoman said the singer is "stunned and hurt" by the hospital's failure to name anything after his mother.

The $500,000 donation remains unspent in a hospital account.

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