Vlogger Jeff Wittek sued YouTube millionaire Dave Dobrik for $10million after suffering severe injuries during a 2020 stunt video accident where he collided with an excavator while being swung from its arm.
Wittek, 32, accused Dobrik, 25, of ‘general negligence and intentional tort,’ alleging that Dobrik’s actions caused him to rack up hospital bills from extensive surgeries, and forced him to miss out on work, according to the lawsuit acquired by TMZ.
The lawsuit claimed that the stunt was Dobrik’s idea, and that his operation of the excavator lead to Wittek’s extensive injuries.
Jeff Wittek, 32, in the hospital after he shattered his skull in nine places and nearly lost his eye in a YouTube stunt gone awry. He blames YouTuber Dave Dobrik for the injury
Dave Dobrik, 25, has previously insisted that the stunt was Wittek’s idea, and that Wittek asked him to promise never to tell anybody that
In June, 2020, Dobrik was filming a stunt video with his ‘Vlog-Squad’ – a group of friends who made frequent appearances in his videos – in which Wittek held onto a rope hung from the raised arm of a spinning excavator, which Dobrik was operating.
In the video, Wittek initially appeared to be in control as he whirled around the machine, but when it suddenly accelerated he lost control. The excavator then slows and stops, and Wittek collides hard with its metal arm before careening into water below where he dangled from the rope by his entangled leg.
After the incident Wittek said that his skull was left shattered in nine places, that he broke his foot and hip, tore a ligament in his leg, and almost lost his eye.
During the stunt, Wittek held onto a rope as he was spun around by an excavator operated by Dobrik
People rush to Wittek’s aid after he collided with the arm of the excavator and plunged into the water below
The lawsuit alleged that the initial idea for the stunt was to place the excavator in the water, and then to pull people along the surface on wakeboards and other objects.
Wittek alleged that after a few takes following the original plan, Dobrik suggested that people hold onto the rope themselves while he swung them around by the excavator.
During his turn, Wittek alleged that Dobrik noticed he had begun to spin the excavator too quickly and slowed down suddenly to compensate, directly causing Wittek to collide with the machine’s arm.
Dobrik has previously insisted that the stunt was Wittek’s idea, and that Wittek asked him to promise never to tell anybody.
‘I think one of the main reasons Jeff is bummed with me right now is because he saw me do an interview where I said something that I promised him I’d keep between us,’ Dobrik said on his podcast VIEWS in March, ‘He’s pissed that I broke a promise.’
‘He’s like, ‘Can you promise me one thing? Can you just promise that no one ever knows that this was my idea?”
‘He got hurt because I was driving,’ Dobrik said, ‘That’s it, and I f***ing know that, and like I said, any chance I would get, I would take that back. That’ll be the biggest regret of my life. My entire life. I really hope there’s not a moment that I regret as much as that one.’
Wittek received at least nine surgeries after the accident. In addition to shattering his skull, he nearly lost his eye
Dobrik (left) and Wittek (right) during better times. The pair are reportedly not speaking anymore
The two have stopped talking to each other since the incident, Wittek revealed in March on his own podcast, Jeff FM, saying that following emergency surgeries after the accident Dobrik did not reach out to him to wish him well.
‘I’ve been protecting this guy for so long and there’s so much more to the story than just him not texting me for a week after I had such a drastic surgery where I could’ve been blind,’ said Wittek.
‘Imagine you smash somebody’s skull in, they take it on the chin, they don’t sue you, they don’t f***ing press charges. I nearly died I came an inch from death and an inch from going blind.’
Dobrik has not returned requests for comment since news of the lawsuit broke.