Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

Court of Appeal[1893] 1 Q.B. 256


The owners of Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. (Carbolic) (defendants) manufactured the Carbolic Smoke Ball and advertised it as a preventative measure against influenza. Carbolic placed an advertisement in several London newspapers saying that one hundred pounds would be paid to any person who purchased a Carbolic Smoke Ball and still contracted influenza. The advertisement further stated that Carbolic had deposited one thousand pounds in a local bank to demonstrate its seriousness in the matter. Carlill (plaintiff) purchased a Carbolic Smoke Ball and later contracted influenza despite using the ball as directed by Carbolic’s instructions. Carlill brought suit to recover the one hundred pounds. The trial court held she was entitled to the one hundred pounds, and Carbolic appealed.

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