$10M Settlement of Class Action Against Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Bruce Monk

TORONTO, Jan. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Waddell Phillips announces that the parties to a class action against the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Bruce Monk have reached a $10 million settlement, subject to receiving the court’s approval. The class action is brought on behalf of students of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (the “School”) from 1984 to 2015 and whom, while enrolled at the School, were photographed by Bruce Monk in a private setting.

The court hearing for the approval of the settlement will take place on Friday, February 11, 2022 by videoconference. Details of how to access the videoconference will be available from Class Counsel.

The class action alleges that while Bruce Monk was a teacher and photographer at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, he took nude, semi-nude and intimate photographs of students, some of which he published, sold, and disseminated on-line. The claim alleges that Monk did this without the students’ consent. None of the allegations has been proven in court, and while they have agreed to settle the action, the Defendants deny liability.

Under the terms of the settlement, the RWB will pay $10 million. After deduction of legal fees and administration costs, the balance will be paid to students who submit a confidential claim and who are approved as eligible by independent adjudicators. The claim process will be simplified, and trauma-informed.

The settlement funds will include a one-time payment of $1,000 for health services to any eligible student, a total payment of up to $2,500 for family members who have been adversely effected by the eligible student’s trauma, and the balance will be paid to the eligible students based upon the severity of the harms they each have suffered.

At the approval hearing, Class Counsel will be asking the court to approve their fees in the amount of $2.25 million, plus taxes and disbursements, which is 22.5% of the total recovery. Class Counsel have been prosecuting this case since 2016 without payment, and were ready to start the trial of the action, which had been set to start on February 14, 2022 at the time the action was settled.

Additional information about the settlement is available at http://waddellphillips.ca/class-actions/royal-winnipeg-ballet-class-action/.

Class Counsel are: Waddell Phillips Professional Corporation and Gillian Hnatiw & Co.

Royal Winnipeg Ballet Class Action
Tel: (647) 261-4486
[email protected]

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