Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

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The ‘Carbolic Smoke Ball’ company was selling these self-proclaimed health enhancing and illness-curing products during and throughout the 1890’s, parallel to the catastrophic flu pandemic of it’s time. The smoke ball was a product created to flush out and prevent the illnesses that the company had outlined on their advertisement, providing they used it as stated in the advert. A brave and sales-enhancing campaign further stated that they were so confident of their product, that they would reward anybody who later contracted the mentioned illnesses £100. They even put money away in a bank account (only enough to reward 10 claimants their compensation) to prove the sincerity of their claim. ‘’£100 reward will be paid by the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company to any person who contracts the influenza 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, shewing our sincerity in the matter’’ E-LAWRESOURCES. (2012). Inevitably, there was a claim. Mrs. Louisa Elizabeth Carlill, on the faith of the advertisements’ claims, purchased one of the balls at her local chemist, using it as directed. Despite this, Mrs. Carlill contracted a cold. Her husband contacted the company, telling them how his wife had contracted the illness after using the product. The Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. in response, asked Mrs. Carlill to travel to them three times daily, for the 14 days required, in order to prove to them, directly, that she had been using the product sufficiently. Mrs. Carlill refused, having already used the product for the 14 days in the expected manner and proceeded to sue the Company for breach of contract (ABBOT 1892: 203). The company, in c... ... middle of paper ... ...(2006) Textbook on Contract Law. 8th Ed. New York: Oxford University Press Inc. • RICHES, S. And ALLEN, V. (2013) Keenan and Riches’ Business Law. Eleventh Edition • SKINNER, R. (2006) Guide to the Law of Contract. Brighton: Straightforward Publishing • Slideshare (2004) Carlill v Carbolic smoke Ball Company [online] Available from: [Accessed: 2nd January 2014] • STONE, R (2013) The modern Law of Contract. 10th Ed. New York: Routledge • HILLIARD, J. And O’SULLIVAN, J. (2012) The Law of Contract [Online] 5th Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available from - [Accessed: 2nd January 2014] Legal Cases • Bowerman v Association of British Travel Agents Ltd [1996] CLC 451 35 • Carlill v The Carbolic Smoke Ball Co Ltd [1893] 1 QB 256 • Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562… 5,429,442

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