Carlill & Carbolic Smoke Ball Case

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  • Topic: Contract, Invitation to treat, Meeting of the minds
  • Pages : 12 (3053 words )
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  • Published : November 13, 2010
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1. Critical Analysis of “Carlill Vs Carbolic Smoke Ball Case”

2. What role “Ad-Idem” plays in formation of a valid contract?



1. Introduction
1. What is there product?……3
2. Promotion of Carbolic Smoke Ball……3
3. The Case- Carlill Vs Carbolic Smoke Ball case……4 2. Case Analysis
1. What is Contract?……5
1. Offer……5
2. Acceptance of the offer……6
3. Constituted good consideration……7
4. Serious Intention……8
3. Conclusion……9
4. What role “ad-idem” plays in formation of a valid contract…..10 5.0 Reference…..11

1. Introduction

Carbolic Smoke Ball is a company located London and they introduced a remedy to Epidemic influenza occurred during 1889 to 1892. In 30th of October 1889 in county of Middlesex, UK, submitted application to patent the carbolic smoke ball. In late 1889 Carbolic Smoke Ball company started marketing the smoke ball for medical purposes.

1.1 What is there product?

This is a product called “smoke Ball”. According to Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, this product is a cure for influenza and a number of diseases. It is a rubber ball with a tube attached as seen in fig: 1.

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.

Fig :01

1.2 Promotion of Carbolic smoke ball

Carbolic Smoke Ball was advertised on 13th of November 1891 in “Pall Mall Gazette”.



Epidemic influenza in 1892:

“Influenza is a term applied to an infectious febrile disorder due to a specific bacillus. “ Since the end of 1889 London has been visited by three successive outbreaks of influenza, each was more critical than it’s previous. By 1892 the no. of deaths was 15,737 according to the records.

In the advertisement they had mentioned “$ 100 reward will be paid by the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company to any person who contracts the increasing epidemic influenza colds. Or any disease caused by taking cold, after having used the ball three times daily for two weeks. According to the printed directions supplied with each ball.

$1000 is deposited with the Alliance Bank, Regent Street, showing our sincerity in the matter. “

Influenza was bit serious, so during last epidemic of influenza many numbers of carbolic smoke balls were sold as a preventive medicine. But there wasn’t any claim reported by using the carbolic smoke ball.

1.3 The Case- Carlill Vs Carbolic Smoke Ball Case

Mrs. Louisa Elizabeth Carlill saw the advertisement on 13th of November 1891 and decided to purchase a smoke ball. She purchased a smoke ball on 20th November 1891 and used three times daily for nearly two months as per instruction given by Carbolic Smoke Ball Company. But she contracted influenza on 17th January 1892. Her husband was a solicitor and he sent letters to Carbolic Smoke Ball Company claiming 100 pounds, but it was ignored twice. On the third request they had replied asking her to come to their office and to use under supervision of the secretary. Then Mrs. Carlill filed a case on courts. The Carbolic Smoke Ball Company lost its arguments at Queen’s bench. So it appealed straight way.

The Court of Appeal completely rejected the company's arguments and held that there was a fully binding contract for £100 with Mrs Carlill. Three judges handled the case. Namely, Lord Justice Lindley, Lord Justice Bowen and Lord Justice AL Smith.

Following important reasons were given by the three judges

(1) The advertisement was a unilateral offer to all the world

(2) Offer & Acceptance that satisfying conditions for using the smoke ball

(3) Good consideration by...
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