John Ferolito is an American entrepreneur who is co-founder of the Arizona Beverage Company, maker of Arizona Iced Tea.
Ferolito joined with partner Don Vultaggio in the 1970s to establish a Brooklyn-based discount beer and soda delivery company, starting with a used Volkswagen bus and adding trucks as the business grew. The company ventured into flavored seltzer and its own brand of malt liquor in its early years. AriZona Iced Tea, the company's flagship product, was first introduced in 1992.
After a falling-out between the two founding partners, Vultaggio prevailed in a 2012 suit against Ferolito. The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division ruling that the company could buy out Ferolito's half-interest, which Ferolito had sought to sell to major international beverage companies. While Vultaggio's attorneys pointed to a 2007 estimated value of $430 million for the company, Ferolito estimated that the company that had become Beverage Marketing USA Inc. was worth as much as $6 billion.
Ferolito, a resident of the Short Hills section of Millburn, New Jersey, was the target of a lawsuit that claimed that he had been negligent when taking a mulligan at an area golf course and struck another golfer with his ball, knocking him unconscious. The incident occurred at the 16th hole of the East Orange Golf Course, where Ferolito and his partner had joined together with another pair of players. While the general legal principle is that accidents and injuries are an expected result of sports activities and that individuals assume that risk when they participate, the attorney for the person hit by Ferolito's errant shot argued that "anticipating that someone is going to hit a mulligan at point-blank range is not a standard part of the game".
- Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons History, Funding Universe. Accessed January 23, 2013.
- Staff. "AriZona Iced Tea company can buy out co-founder: appellate court", Thomson Reuters News & Insight, July 25, 2012. Accessed January 23, 2013. "Nicholas Gravante, a lawyer for Ferolito, has said the company is worth from $4 billion to $6 billion. Louis Solomon, a lawyer for Vultaggio, has said it is worth significantly less, citing a 2007 deal valuing the company at $432 million."
- Ramirez, Anthony. "Metro Briefing", The New York Times, March 14, 2001. Accessed January 23, 2013. "The case dates to a 1994 golf outing at the East Orange Golf Course, when John Ferolito of Short Hills hit a mulligan, or second tee shot, and struck Jeffrey Schick in the eye, knocking him unconscious. He sued."
- MacFarquhar, Neil. "Extra and Errant Tee Shot May Hit Golfer's Wallet, Too", The New York Times, January 28, 2000. Accessed January 23, 2013.