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OK Hospital vs. Garth Brooks: Guess Who Won?

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 1, 2012

Hospital executives—more than anyone—should be well aware of the dangers of presenting a jury with emotional testimony involving human suffering and loss. It is one reason why healthcare-related suits are so expensive, why these suits often destroy reputations, and why defense attorneys try mightily to avoid jury trials.

Brooks is rarely seen without his trademark broad-brimmed Stetson. However, juror Beverly Lacy saw ICVRH as the black hats. She told the World that she voted for the punitive damages because "we wanted to show them not to do that anymore to other people who couldn't take them to court if they needed to."

Lacy's comments suggest that Brooks's victory was also a win for the little guy, because ordinary people believe they have no chance against an institution. The jury identified with the multimillionaire, world-famous singer, and not with the 75-bed acute care hospital. Institutions have money, but country singers have mamas, and so do jurors. 

At a press conference after the trial, Brooks called the panel "heroes." He said he was still looking for a way to honor Colleen.

"One day mom's name is going to go on the women's center right there where the hospital is. But that hospital won't be owned by Integris when it happens, I can tell you that. That's my dream."

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2 comments on "OK Hospital vs. Garth Brooks: Guess Who Won?"


Lance (2/3/2012 at 9:29 AM)
So, the jury can identify with a multimillionaire instead of a tiny community hospital? My, oh, my this logic escapes me. Kinda like the Occupy Wall Street crowd who thought multibillionaire Steve Jobs was one of "them", the 99%.

observer (2/1/2012 at 4:14 PM)
The case was even more difficult for Integris when it came out that in the pitch to get him to contribute - they showed him mockups of a building in the hospital complex bearing his mother's name