Controversial YouTube Star David Dobrik Hit With Lawsuit Over Dangerous Stunt Gone Wrong

David Dobrik on The Tonight Show
(Image credit: NBC)

YouTube is an interesting place. It’s a platform where users can play video games for charitable causes or show off their amazing LEGO creations. It’s also the home to over-the-top stunts, which can unfortunately go wrong from time to time and land YouTubers in hot water. This was the case for controversial Internet personality David Dobrik, when he performed a social media stunt last year, which involved a massive excavator. Now, Dobrik finds himself on the receiving end of a lawsuit from someone who was involved. 

David Dobrik is being sued by fellow YouTuber Jeff Wittek, a former member of the former’s Vlog Squad, who went to Provo, Utah to participate in Dobrik’s “social media comeback.” TMZ obtained the lawsuit, which alleges that Wittek suffered severe injuries as a result of the stunt. Per the YouTuber, in one video, Dobrik would operate the giant excavator, which would be planted in the water. The viral star would then use the machine to swing people around by a rope as they rode on various objects. 

However, things apparently went south after when it was time for Jeff Wittek to take part in the shenanigans. Wittek further claimed through the legal documents that the machine started swinging him too fast. While the operator noticed this, he allegedly stopped too quickly and, as a result, Wittek slammed into the side of the machine.

The plaintiff is now reportedly seeking $10 million in punitive damages from David Dobrik, citing general negligence and intentional tort. He also argues that his flow of income has been negatively affected by his injuries. Specific wounds were not mentioned in the documents. However, per TMZ, this isn’t the first time that the Internet star has spoken out about the incident in Utah. He purportedly claimed that he nearly died that day and that he suffered a broken foot and hip as well as a torn ligament in his leg. Aside from those and injuries to his head, he also claimed to have nearly lost an eye.

David Dobrik rose to prominence in the 2010s through his presence on Vine and, after that platform became defunct, YouTube became his social media platform of choice. The Slovak-born media personality has amassed a sizable following over the years and holds a number of high-profile endorsements. As of this writing, he has a combined 30 million subscribers across three different accounts. 

Despite the accolades he’s received, he’s also found himself the subject of controversy. In February 2021, a fellow YouTuber accused him of sexually assaulting them through a prank. A month later, a woman claimed that she was raped during the filming of a vlog on group sex by former Vlog Squad member Dom Zeglaitis. 

David Dobrik has yet to publicly comment on Jeff Wittek’s lawsuit. Considering that he has publicly addressed past controversies, it’s possible that he’ll speak out on the matter sooner rather than later.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.