The lawsuit filed against the Pittsburgh Penguins by Erin Skalde and Jarrod Skalde, a former assistant coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, will not be going to court, as both parties announced on Tuesday morning that they have decided to settle.
According to a statement from Skalde's lawyers from the firm Romanucci & Blandin, the details of the settlement will not be disclosed, as the matter has come to a "satisfactory conclusion for all parties involved."
The Skaldes filed this lawsuit in response to an incident of alleged sexual misconduct committed by former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli against Erin Skalde during a road trip on November 11th, 2018. The lawsuit claims that Jarrod Skalde reported the incident to Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin, who was tasked with overseeing the AHL affiliate, on June 21st, 2019. Seven days later, on June 28th, 2019, Donatelli resigned from his position citing "personal reasons", just two days after leading a practice at the Penguins' prospect development camp.
As outlined in the official complaint, the lawsuit alleged that Guerin then instructed Jarrod Skalde to keep quiet about the allegations against Donatelli, and that Erin Skalde was called a "liar" and never interviewed during the organization's internal investigation on the matter.
Furthermore, the complaint alleged that Skalde was punished for bringing these claims to management through the removal of his duties overseeing the team's power play, and that his dismissal from the organization in May of 2020, which the Penguins cited as being related to COVID-19, in fact, came as a result of this.
Guerin and the Penguins have denied all claims throughout these proceedings, saying, “Immediately upon receiving the report, a full investigation was conducted within 72 hours, and the former coach resigned from the organization. Following the report, Mr. Skalde continued to coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for an additional year, until we made significant staff reductions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Currently, US Safe Sport is undergoing an investigation into Guerin's handling of Skalde's claims. Guerin is thought to be the expected replacement for Stan Bowman as the general manager of the United States Men's Hockey Team for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.