David Dobrik Is Being Sued For More Than $10 Million By Jeff Wittek Over The Near-Fatal Excavator Stunt That Almost Caused Him To Lose An Eye And Has Left Him Sustaining Lifelong Injuries

David Dobrik Is Being Sued For More Than $10 Million By Jeff Wittek Over The Near-Fatal Excavator Stunt That Almost Caused Him To Lose An Eye And Has Left Him Sustaining Lifelong Injuries
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David Dobrik Is Being Sued For More Than $10 Million By Jeff Wittek Over The Near-Fatal Excavator Stunt That Almost Caused Him To Lose An Eye And Has Left Him Sustaining Lifelong Injuries

Earlier this year, Jeff publicly called David — who controlled the excavator as it swung Jeff around at dangerous speeds — a “scumbag” as he claimed David “blamed” the entire incident on him.

By xw3A6mnyX_large.jpg?crop=499%25253A498%25253B-1%25252C22&downsize=60:*&output-format=jpg&output-quality=autoby Leyla Mohammed

BuzzFeed News Staff

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David Dobrik is being sued by fellow YouTuber Jeff Wittek over the near-fatal excavator incident that occurred in June 2020.


Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Nickelodeon

As you might recall, David, Jeff, and others in their then-close group of friends — aka the Vlog Squad — were filming content for David’s YouTube channel, which infamously tended to involve a bunch of dangerous stunts.


Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for dick clark productions

But the group went a step too far when David took control of an excavator in a shallow lake in Utah, and swung Jeff — who was hanging onto a rope attached to the machine — at high speeds.



In video footage uploaded to his YouTube channel, Jeff could be seen slamming into the excavator when it was suddenly halted by David, before falling into the lake.



Jeff was left enduring near-fatal injuries as a result of the failed stunt, including a broken foot and hip, a torn ligament in his leg, and a skull shattered in nine places. What’s more, he was told by doctors that he came dangerously close to losing his eye, and announced a few months ago that he’d only just gotten the plates out following his ninth surgery.

View this photo on Instagram

Instagram: @jeff

Much of Jeff’s recovery was captured over his three part YouTube docuseries, Don't Try This At Home, which also explored the stunt in detail. The videos are so graphic that they’re introduced with a stern warning on the platform, while uncensored versions remain available on Patreon.

View this photo on Instagram

Instagram: @jeff

And though he’s undergone multiple successful surgeries since the incident, which have no doubt accumulated a large hospital bill, Jeff has noted that he’ll sustain lifelong brain injuries as a result of the stunt.



Now, Jeff is suing David for “general negligence and intentional tort” in a new lawsuit obtained by multiple outlets. He is seeking over $10 million in damages, claiming that he’s “lost wages and earning capacity, and has accumulated numerous, large hospital bills,” per TMZ.


David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

According to the outlet, Jeff alleged in the suit that he has suffered critical injuries because of David’s actions. Jeff claimed that while the group were filming out on the lake in Utah, David was the one to suggest that someone hold onto the rope attached to the excavator while he swung them around in the air.



Jeff reportedly went on to claim in the legal filings that when he was hanging onto the rope, David swung the machine at “unsafe speeds” before abruptly slowing it down, causing him to slam into the side of the excavator at a high force and suffer “a myriad of injuries.”


Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Back in February, Jeff spoke out at length about his and David’s relationship following the incident, revealing that the duo were no longer on speaking terms because he was done being “fake friends” with him.


Kevin Winter / Getty Images

In a livestream on his Patreon, Jeff was asked by a viewer if David had checked in on him after his most recent eye surgery. In response, Jeff claimed he’d heard “nothing” from his supposed friend.


Rachel Murray / Getty Images for boohoo

“Not surprised, you know? It is what it is... But I'm done being fake friends with that motherfucker,” Jeff said.

View this photo on Instagram

Instagram: @jeff

Addressing the comments further on his podcast, Jeff claimed that David didn't reach out to him at all following the traumatic experience, which Jeff openly revealed had left him struggling mentally.



“I woke up from surgery. A day goes by, no text for him. Another day goes by, no text. I look at his Instagram because it's the first one that always fucking pops up because the algorithm or whatever. It's just him like, 'Oh, I'm so happy with my life right now. My vlogs and everything,' just promoting his vlog,” Jeff said.

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Instagram: @jeff

“I was just like, you got time to do this but you can't text me and be like, ‘Hey, did you go blind or not from my actions?’” he continued. “I just want to fucking tell the truth, finally. I gave this motherfucker so many chances. Even now, a week later, I still haven't heard a peep.”


Steven Ferdman / Getty Images

“He is a scumbag friend, a fake friend, now that the documentary is over doesn't give a fuck, doesn't text me, doesn't check-in,” Jeff claimed, perhaps referencing the fact that David appeared in the docuseries as the pair attempted to resolve the tension between them in the aftermath of the stunt.



What’s more, Jeff went on to claim that David had blamed him for the incident. “The other reason, him saying now, flipping the script, saying, ‘Oh, it was fucking Jeff's idea. He’s crazy.’ Complete bullshit,” Jeff said of David’s alleged comments on the stunt.


Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for Nickelodeon

BuzzFeed News has reached out to David’s representatives for comment.

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Leyla Mohammed a is Celebrity News Fellow for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Leyla Mohammed at leyla.mohammed@buzzfeed.com.

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