Judge Timothy Driscoll of Nassau County (NY) Supreme Court handed AriZona Iced Tea co-founder John Ferolito a massive win in his dispute against his former partner, Domenick Vultaggio.
How big? Well, at AriZona’s 99 cents per can pricing, Vultaggio will need to sell 1,010,101,010 cans of tea to pay the $1 billion tab.
And that’s before interest, which is accruing at $185,000 per day.
The decision is believed to be the fourth billion-dollar plus award in 2014, trailing international arbitration ($50B), tobacco ($23B) and pharmaceutical liability ($9B) claims.
Nicholas Gravante of Boies, Schiller & Flexner said he is hopeful the $2B valuation given by Judge Driscoll will put to rest the dispute between the former friends. Vultaggio and Ferolito built AriZona from the back of a VW wagon, from which they delivered beer around Manhattan, into the largest distributor of brewed tea in the U.S. with a market share exceeding 37.4 percent in 2013.
“We are very grateful for the time and care Judge Driscoll extended our client, who wants nothing more than to put this matter to rest,” says Gravante.
Vultaggio and the company, Beverage Marketing USA, were represented by Lou Solomon of Cadwalader. Solomon had pegged the company’s value at $426 million.
The parties are due back before the Mineola-based court Nov. 3.
The case is Ferolito v. AriZona Beverages USA LLC, et al, New York Supreme Court, Nassau County, No. 004058-12.