Summary of Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company

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Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company

Carbolic Smoke Ball Company advertised that 100 pounds would be given to whoever would use their smoke ball three times a day for 2 weeks and still contracted influenza. To show their sincerity, they deposited 1000 pounds in their bank. Mrs. Carlill took up the offer and after using the smoke ball as directed for 2 weeks, she still got influenza. She was denied the reward of 100 pounds and filed a case against the company. The company argued on five grounds

  1. The advert was a mere puff ii. You cannot contract with the whole world iii.      No notification of acceptance iv.          Too vague to be an offer
  2. No consideration was given, that is, nudum pactum

After due considerations, the court held that

  1. The advert was not a mere puff as the deposition of 1000 pounds showed a strong legal intention to be bound
  2. An offer can be made to the whole world but it only becomes a contract when one person accepts and performs the requirement of the offer
  3. A unilateral offer requires no notice of acceptance as most adverts impliedly waive the requirement of notice of acceptance
  4. Terms were not that vague as it was interpreted the way anyone would do so
  5. The inconvenience of using the smoke ball plus the purchase which contributes to the profit of the company is valuable consideration.

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