Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 13

Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

Facts
The Carbolic Smoke Ball Company made a product called the "smoke ball". It claimed to be a cure for influenza and a number of other diseases, in the context of the 18891890 flu pandemic which is estimated to have killed 1 million people. The smoke ball was a rubber ball with a tube attached. It was filled with carbolic acid (phenol). The tube was then inserted into the user's nose. It was squeezed at the bottom to release the vapors into the nose of the user. This would cause the nose to run, and hopefully flush out the viral infection.

Facts

Conti
The Company published advertisements in the Pall Mall Gazette and other newspapers on November 13, 1891, claiming that it would pay 100 to anyone who got sick with influenza after using its product according to the instructions set out in the advertisement. 1000 was deposited with the Alliance Bank, showing the companys sincerity in the matter.

Advertisement

Conti
Mrs. Louisa Elizabeth Carlill saw the advertisement, bought one of the balls and used according to the instruction for nearly two months until she contracted the flu on January 17, 1892 but at which latter date she had an attack of influenza. Her husband wrote a letter for her to the defendants, stating what had occurred, and asking for the 100 promised by the defendants in the advertisement.

Conti
But the company replied with an anonymous letter that if it is used properly the company had complete confidence in the smoke ball's efficacy, but "to protect themselves against all fraudulent claims" they would need her to come to their office to use the ball each day and be checked by the secretary.

Conti
Mrs. Carlill brought a claim to court. The barristers representing her argued that the advertisement and her reliance on it was a contract between her and the company, and so they ought to pay. The company argued it was not a serious contract.

Issue
Does an advertisement to the general public promising to money to anyone who does something create a binding contract between the parties?

U/S2(a) When one person signifies to another his willingness to do or to obtain from doing anything, with a view to obtaining the assent of that other to such act, he said to make a proposal.

Judgment
The Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the company's arguments and held that there was a fully binding contract for 100 with Mrs Carlill. Among the reasons given by the three judges were

That the advert was a unilateral offer to all the world.


That satisfying conditions for using the smoke ball constituted acceptance of the offer.

Conti
That purchasing or merely using the smoke ball constituted good consideration, because it was a distinct detriment incurred at the behest of the company and, furthermore, more people buying smoke balls by relying on the advert was a clear benefit to Carbolic
That the company's claim that 1000 was deposited at the Alliance Bank showed the serious intention to be legally bound.

Conti
In the present case the promise was put forward, with the intention that it should be acted upon. It seems to that there was ample consideration for the promise, and that, therefore, the plaintiff is entitled to recover the reward.

THANK YOU