The husband of a woman who drowned in a private community’s lake last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Hazle Township development and a boat operator.

Gina DeVitis, 33, died on July 24, 2011, while swimming to shore in Lake Susquehanna from a pontoon boat commanded by Keith Dasher.

The civil suit, which was filed by Joshua DeVitis, of Hazle Township, on Tuesday in Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, accuses Dasher, 50, of Hazle Township, and the development Eagle Rock Resort Inc. of negligence.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $ 250,000 and also names development operator Double Diamond Inc., Texas, as a defendant. Other charges in the complaint are wrongful death, survival action and punitive damages.

Attempts to reach Dasher, Eagle Rock and Double Diamond for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday.

The 22-page lawsuit states the DeVitis couple and friends gathered for a picnic at the lake July 23 and boarded Dasher’s boat around 9 p.m. The number of people on the boat exceeded the boat’s capacity rating, the lawsuit states.

The passengers were taken to the lake’s dock, where they used it for swimming and other activities. The group was drinking.

At one point Gina DeVitis decided to swim to shore.

When her husband, Joshua, found out, he entered the lake to swim with her. Neither was offered a flotation device by Dasher, and Dasher never attempted to stop either from swimming, the lawsuit states.

Instead, the complaint states, Dasher continued to drink and play loud music on his boat.

As Joshua DeVitis swam toward Gina, he became disoriented “in the dark, murky waters of the lake.” Visibility was further hampered by the lack of lighting from Dasher’s boat, the complaint states. DeVitis yelled for his wife, but [...]