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Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. – Case Brief Summary

Summary of Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. [1893] Q.B. 256 (C.A.).

Facts
Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. (D) manufactured and sold The Carbolic Smoke Ball. The company placed ads in various newspapers offering a reward of 100 pounds to any person who used the smoke ball three times per day as directed and contracted influenza, colds, or any other disease. After seeing the ad Carlill (P) purchased a ball and used it as directed. Carlill contracted influenza and made a claim for the reward. Carbolic Smoke Ball refused to pay and Carlill sued for damages arising from breach of contract. Judgment for 100 pounds was entered for Carlill and Carbolic Smoke Ball appealed.

Issue
Does one who makes a unilateral offer for the sale of goods by means of an advertisement impliedly waive notification of acceptance, if his purpose is to sell as much product as possible?
Holding and Rule (Lindley)
Yes. One who makes a unilateral offer for the sale of goods by means of an advertisement impliedly waives notification of acceptance if his purpose is to sell as much product as possible.
The court held that a person who makes an offer may decline to require notice of acceptance if he or she wishes. One who makes an offer dispenses with the requirement of notice of acceptance if the form of the offer shows that notice of acceptance is not required. To accept an offer, a person need only follow the indicated method of acceptance. If the offeror either expressly or impliedly intimates in his offer that it will be sufficient to act without giving notice of acceptance, performance is sufficient acceptance without notification.

The court held that an advertisement is considered to be an offer when it specifies the quantity of persons who are eligible to accept its terms. If such an advertisement requires performance, the offeree is not required to give notice of his performance.

The court addressed the issue of whether

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