Class Actions

Royal Winnipeg Ballet Class Action —

This class action is brought on behalf of all persons who attended the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School from 1984 to 2015 who were photographed by Bruce Monk in a private setting, and the dependents of those students.

Case Overview

This  class action alleges that Bruce Monk, while a teacher and photographer at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, took naked, semi-naked, and sexualized photographs of Royal Winnipeg Ballet students, some of which he published, sold, and disseminated on-line. It is alleged that Monk did this without the consent of the potential class members.

The lawsuit alleges that Monk breached his fiduciary duty to the students, and committed breaches of confidence and trust. It alleges that Monk intruded upon the seclusion of the students, invaded their privacy, and committed the tort of public disclosure of private facts.

The lawsuit does not allege that Monk’s conduct was criminal.  Rather, it focusses on Monk’s breach of the position of trust and power which he held over the students who he photographed, and his further misconduct by posting the photographs on-line without the consent of the students.

The class action seeks damages against Monk for the harm he caused by taking sexualized photographs of students. It also seeks damages against Monk for the further harm he caused when he posted the images online, making them widely available to view and, in some cases, selling them online.

The class action is also brought against Monk’s employer, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, on the basis of its vicarious liability for the tortious conduct of its teacher, for its own systemic negligence in failing to properly supervise Monk’s conduct, and for turning a blind eye to Monk’s improper conduct.

For further details of the allegations, see the Fresh Amended Amended Statement of Claim

Were you a student of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet who was photographed by Bruce Monk in a private session?
Regardless of your age at the time the photographs were taken, and regardless of whether you believe your images were posted or sold online, we would like to hear from you.

Please complete our confidential online form, and a member of our team will get back to you, typically within one business day.
Or you can contact us directly at:

  • marg@waddellphillips.ca
  • (t) 416-477-6979
  • (f) 416-477-1657
  • 36 Toronto St., Suite 1120, Toronto, ON, M5C 2C5
    attn.: Royal Winnipeg Ballet Class Action

Case Overview

This  class action alleges that Bruce Monk, while a teacher and photographer at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, took naked, semi-naked, and sexualized photographs of Royal Winnipeg Ballet students, some of which he published, sold, and disseminated on-line. It is alleged that Monk did this without the consent of the potential class members.

The lawsuit alleges that Monk breached his fiduciary duty to the students, and committed breaches of confidence and trust. It alleges that Monk intruded upon the seclusion of the students, invaded their privacy, and committed the tort of public disclosure of private facts.

The lawsuit does not allege that Monk’s conduct was criminal.  Rather, it focusses on Monk’s breach of the position of trust and power which he held over the students who he photographed, and his further misconduct by posting the photographs on-line without the consent of the students.

The class action seeks damages against Monk for the harm he caused by taking sexualized photographs of students. It also seeks damages against Monk for the further harm he caused when he posted the images online, making them widely available to view and, in some cases, selling them online.

The class action is also brought against Monk’s employer, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, on the basis of its vicarious liability for the tortious conduct of its teacher, for its own systemic negligence in failing to properly supervise Monk’s conduct, and for turning a blind eye to Monk’s improper conduct.

For further details of the allegations, see the Fresh Amended Amended Statement of Claim

Were you a student of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet who was photographed by Bruce Monk in a private session?
Regardless of your age at the time the photographs were taken, and regardless of whether you believe your images were posted or sold online, we would like to hear from you.

Please complete our confidential online form, and a member of our team will get back to you, typically within one business day.
Or you can contact us directly at:

  • marg@waddellphillips.ca
  • (t) 416-477-6979
  • (f) 416-477-1657
  • 36 Toronto St., Suite 1120, Toronto, ON, M5C 2C5
    attn.: Royal Winnipeg Ballet Class Action

The Fresh Amended Amended Statement of Claim has been served on the Defendants.

Both Monk and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet have delivered statements of defence in which they deny the allegations set out in the claim.

The motion for certification of the action as a class proceeding was heard by the court on June 7, 2018.

On June 27, 2018, Justice Perell decided that the action will proceed as a class action. The Reasons for Decision are here.

The class includes:

  • All persons who attended the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (the School) from 1984 to 2015 and who, while enrolled at the School were photographed by Bruce Monk in a private setting (the Student Class); including a subclass of:
    • All members of the Student Class whose intimate photographs taken by Bruce Monk were posted on the internet, sold, published or otherwise displayed in a public setting (the Privacy Subclass); and
  • All dependents of members of the Student Class, as defined by section 61 of the Family Law Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3 (the Family Class)

The two defendants – the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Bruce Monk – have until July 12, 2018 to decide if they want to seek leave of the court to appeal the decision. There is no automatic right for the defendants to appeal.

If the defendants do not appeal the certification decision, then the action will be proceeding as a class action on behalf of all the class members. Class Counsel will send out notice to the class to tell them that the action has been certified.  The class members will then have a set amount of time (to be determined by the court, but likely in the range of 90 – 120 days) to decide if they want to exclude themselves from the action. If they do not exclude themselves, they will be bound by the results.

If you think that you are a potential class member, please complete our confidential contact form. A member of our team will be in touch with you.

If you have been in touch with us but have since changed any of your contact information, please ensure you provide us with your updated information.

An application for funding for this action was heard by the Class Proceedings Fund on October 11, 2017.  The funding application was successful. The Class Proceedings Fund will provide some funding for the costs of disbursements incurred in prosecuting the case, and will provide an indemnity to the plaintiff for any adverse cost awards made by the court.  In exchange, the Fund will be entitled to receive 10% of the net proceeds of any judgment or settlement achieved for the class.

Further updates will be posted as the case progresses.

We review every inquiry we receive and will respond promptly to case specific inquiries.
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