Brief of Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company

Brief of Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company by Legum

Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. [1891-4] All ER 127

Material Facts:

Carbolic smoke ball made a product called the smoke ball which they claimed cures influenza. The company in its advertisement of the product stated that they would give a 100£ to anyone who used the product according to the instructions and still got influenza. The company deposited an amount of $1000 in the bank to be used for the rewards. Carlill upon seeing the advertisement, used the product but got influenza. She brought a suit against Carbolic Smoke Ball to recover the 100£.

Procedural History:

At the Queens Bench, the court held that Carlill was entitled to the 100£ reward. Carbolic Smoke Ball appealed the ruling.


1. Whether or not the advertisement by Carbolic Smoke Ball was meant to be a binding promise or just a sales strategy.


1. Carbolic Smoke Ball’s case was dismissed and it was held that Carlill is entitled to recover the 100£.

Ratio Decidendi:

The court reasoned that there was an express promise by Carbolic Smoke Ball Co to give a reward of 100£ to anyone who contracted influenza after using their smokeball. Justice Lindley advanced that the company’s deposit of 1000 £ into the bank was reflective of their seriousness to be bound by the words in their advertisement, which contained a reward of 100£.