« The case of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company is one of the most important cases relating to the common law of contract »
Discuss this statement by explaining the facts of the case in detail and by examining and commenting upon the principles established by the Court of Appeal’s decision.
This case took part in 1892. During the last epidemic of influenza, the Carbolic Smoke Company issued advertisement for its product the Carbolic Smoke Ball. This ad was placed in several newspapers, and was saying that buyers would have £100 if they caught influenza, even if they were using the Ball three times a day during two weeks.
This ball was supposed to prevent from influenza: thanks to the vapours of carbolic acid squeezed into the nose, in order to flush away the infection.
Mrs Carlill used the ball from November 20, 1891 to January 17, 1892 three times a day as it was recommended. Indeed, she intended to recover the £100.
As it was made precise in the ad, an “£100 reward will be paid by the Carbolic Smoke 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”. That is why Mrs Carlill, the plaintiff in this case, considered that she had the entire right to ask for the £100. Instead of rewarding Mrs Calill, the Carbolic Smoke Company, the defendant, appealed.
Through this case, basic knowledge was addressed: the offer, the invitation to treat, the acceptance, the type of contract, the promise.
First, the defendant declared that it was an invitation to treat. It means that is an invitation made by one person to another to enter into negotiations or to make an offer. The Carbolic Smoke Company said that there was no binding contract between the