Jarrod and Erin Skalde have reached a resolution with the Pittsburgh Penguins following claims that former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins coach John "Clark" Donatelli sexually assaulted Erin Skalde in 2018.
The details of the settlement have not been disclosed. Romanucci & Blandin represented Erin Skalde and said Tuesday that the legal matter had "come to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties."
Jarrod Skalde was an assistant coach for the AHL Penguins. In November 2020, he filed a lawsuit against them in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania. The suit alleged that Donatelli had assaulted Erin Skalde when they were riding in a car on a road trip through Rhode Island. Skalde also claimed that Bill Guerin, the assistant general manager of the Penguins, ordered him to remain silent about the incident after he was informed.
"We are happy that the Penguins organization worked alongside us to resolve this dispute so Jarrod and his family could move on with their lives," Jarrod's lawyers, Charles Wentworth, and David Fish said in a statement.
Erin Skalde stated in a statement, "The events of the past three years have been deeply difficult. My hope is now to move forward as an advocate and advocate for others."
Romanucci & Blandin had announced last week that a news conference would have discussed a civil lawsuit Erin Skalde would file in Rhode Island against Donatelli, Guerin, and Penguins coowners Mario Lemieux, and Ronald Burkle. The news conference was postponed quickly after the law firm announced that a second woman, who had described a similar assault by Donatelli at a different time and date in a different place, retained our law office. There has been no further information.
ESPN was informed by a source that Erin Skalde didn't file the suit in Rhode Island last Wednesday.
According to the Penguins, they "acted immediately" after becoming aware of the allegations in June 2019. This is when Jarrod Skalde first told them. According to the team, Donatelli quickly left the organization after conducting a thorough investigation in 72 hours.
Skalde claims that he was fired by the Penguins in May 2020 because he complained about Donatelli. However, the Penguins claim that he had coached for them for another year and that his dismissal was due to "significant staff reductions" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Penguins and Skaldes agreed to settle all claims, the team stated in a Tuesday statement. The Penguins are hopeful that this resolution will bring closure to the Skaldes and provide some peace. They also hope to continue to promote and encourage an openness and accountability culture at all levels of professional sport.
This settlement comes amid turbulent weeks in the NHL. After an investigation into the handling of sexual assault allegations against Brad Aldrich, former video coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, the general manager Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac, the senior director of hockey administration resigned. Former Blackhawks/then-current Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville also resigned after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about his inaction following the claims made by former player Kyle Beach.
Bowman also resigned from his position as general manager for the U.S. men’s national team in 2022 Winter Olympics.
Many believe Guerin, the current general manager of the Minnesota Wild would assume the management of the Olympic roster. Guerin would be cleared of one obstacle if the Skaldes resolve their legal case. TSN reported that Guerin was being investigated by the U.S. Center for SafeSport over the handling of Donatelli's allegations. These findings are not yet public.