The Pittsburgh Penguins settled the lawsuits brought against them by former minor league assistant coach Jarrod Skalde and his wife Erin, according to Skalde’s lawyers.
In a press release on Tuesday morning, the lawyers announced the Penguins settled both the whistleblower lawsuit Jarrod Skalde brought against the Pittsburgh Penguins organization for terminating him one year after reporting WBS Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli assaulted his wife and the second suit specifically alleging assault.
On the heels of the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault scandal and coverup report last week, Erin Skalde filed suit against Donatelli, Bill Guerin, and the Pittsburgh Penguins organization over the alleged sexual assault in the back seat of a car driven by Jarrod Skalde.
The alleged incident took place in Providence, Rhode Island, in November 2018 on a WBS Penguins road trip. After dinner, the Skalde’s allege that Donatelli pressured Erin Skalde into the backseat of the car and assaulted her while Jarrod Skalde returned to the restaurant to retrieve a personal item. Skalde alleged the assault continued during the drive back to the hotel.
After Donatelli did not inform the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, Skalde reported the incident to the AGM Bill Guerin in June 2019, who conducted an investigation and removed Donatelli shortly afterward.
The Penguins organization terminated Skalde last year amid budget cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Skalde claimed the termination stemmed from reporting Donatelli.
SafeSport, the investigative arm of the U.S. Olympic Committee, recently opened an investigation into Guerin based on Skalde’s accusations.
From the press release by the Ramonucci and Blandin law firm:
“We are pleased to announce the resolution of the matter involving Erin Skalde and the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, which has come to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties involved. We appreciate the collaboration the team has shown in acknowledging the concerns of our client. As is customary in these types of resolutions, the terms and details will not be disclosed by any of the parties involved and we hope this brings a measure of closure to Erin and her family,” said Managing Partner Gina A. DeBoni and Senior ALorney Jason J. Friedl, Romanucci & Blandin.
Charles G. Wentworth of The Law Office of Lofgren & Wentworth and David J. Fish of Fish Potter Bolaños, P.C. represent Jarrod Skalde.
“I am glad that this has been resolved and my hope is I can move forward with my professional coaching career and personal life,” said Skalde.
His lawyers added: “We are pleased that the Penguins organiza4on worked with us to resolve this dispute so that Jarrod and his family can move on with their lives.”
Skalde is coaching in England this season.
Pittsburgh Penguins statement:
In June 2019, the Penguins received a report about an alleged incident in November 2018 involving the then head coach of the AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre and Erin Skalde, the wife of then Wilkes-Barre assistant coach Jarrod Skalde. Upon receiving this report, the Penguins immediately conducted a thorough investigation and took prompt action. Within a few days, the former coach who was alleged to have been involved in the incident departed from the organization.
In November 2020, Jarrod and Erin Skalde filed a lawsuit against the Penguins and the former Wilkes-Barre coach. The Penguins and Skaldes have agreed to resolve all claims. Through this resolution, the Penguins hope to bring closure to the Skaldes, provide some measure of peace, and continue to encourage and promote a culture of openness, accountability, and respect at all levels of professional sports.