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Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company

Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, December 8, 1892

General Overview

This was a hugely influential decision that went right to the heart of contract law. It is still cited every year in law exams and essays by thousands of law students. During a flu epidemic, Elizabeth Carlill, a writer and lawyer’s wife, bought a “smoke ball” from the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company. The company claimed its product — a small rubber ball with a tube attached, filled with carbolic acid that was flushed into the user’s nose — could cure the flu. Its adverts promised to pay £100 to anyone who used the ball but still got sick. Mrs Carlill bought a smoke ball, used it, and caught a cold. She successfully sued the company. Her case confirmed many modern contract principles. Incidentally, Mrs Carlill died 50 years later, aged 96, from influenza. [1]

Resources

Notes

  1. Zulkifli Hasan, The cases that changed Britain: 1870-1916

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  • Article Name: Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company
  • Author: International
  • Description: Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball CompanyTable of Contents1 Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company1.1 Carlill v Carbolic Smoke [...]

This entry was last updated: September 4, 2017

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