Matt Barnard, AP
The suit first surfaced in December 2009, exactly four years after Garth donated $500,000 to the Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in his hometown, Yukon, Okla. The superstar gave the gift as a tribute to his mother, Colleen, who died of cancer in 1999. Garth claims that the hospital originally showed him plans to construct a women's health center that would bear her name, but that never came to fruition.
As a result, the 'Friends in Low Places' singer asked that the money be returned. When the hospital refused, claiming Garth's donation had been "anonymous and unconditional," he took the case to court.
The trial began in Claremore, Okla. on Tuesday (Jan. 17), and jurors have spent the past two days listening to testimony. On Thursday (Jan. 19), Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital president and CEO James Moore testified that the donation, which has not yet been spent, was unrestricted, and that no naming rights had been agreed upon. However, he did state that he had promised Garth he would do something to honor Colleen Brooks.
Moore went on to say that he was contacted by Garth in early 2009, at which time the entertainer allegedly revealed that "some investments hadn't panned out," and asked that the money be returned.
Also taking the stand yesterday was an architect who contributed to the hospital's master facility plan. In her testimony, she cited a memo that claims Moore was in talks with Garth and his father, Ray, for a $3 million donation in exchange for naming the facility in the late Mrs. Brooks' honor.
Additionally, the performer's Nashville-based accountant, Cheryl Harris, took the stand to talk about the donation and its intended use, saying of her client, "It was obvious how much he loved her and how much he cared for her. You could hear the joy in his voice. He was very pleased that she was going to be honored."
District Judge Dynda Post, who is presiding over the case, believes that the trial should last through Tuesday (Jan. 24).