Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co Unilateral Contracts A unilateral contract is one in which one party has obligations but the other does not. Unilateral contracts sometimes occur in sport in circumstances where a reward is involved.
The facts were not in dispute. Submissions were made by both sides and then Hawkins J gave his judgment. Counsels' submissions[ edit ] H. Asquith QC gave the leading submissions for the Carbolic company. They made three submissions. Firsly, that there was no contract, because Carbolic had not intended to create an obligation enforceable by law upon themselves, shown by the wide terms in which the advertisement was expressed.
The advertisement said the "reward" was for anyone getting influenza "after having used the ball", which could mean any time in someone's life.
It would be absurd to impose an obligation on the company for some who got the flu years after using the ball. Moreover, contracting the flu was not something in the plaintiff's control, and so this case should be distinguished from reward cases like Williams v Carwardine  where someone positively does something to deserve a reward.
Second, even if a contract existed, it should be void because of the Lottery Act which said "wagering contracts" gambling contracts were unlawful and void. This was a wager, gambling, like a lottery, as in a number of cases, such as Brogden v Marriott  Rourke v Short  and Taylor v Smetten.
The contract was a warranty to prevent disease that sounded in liquidated money damages. The advertisement was an offer. It was accepted when the conditions of the offer were performed.
This could be seen in Denton v Great Northern Ry.
Was there a contract? If a contract, did it require a stamp? Did insurance contract statutes apply? To the last three questions, Hawkins essentially agreed with Mrs Carlill's counsel, and said "no", adding arguments of his own. To the question of whether there was a contract, he said "yes," and gave his reasons.
It seems to me that the contract may be thus described. In consideration that the plaintiff would use the carbolic smoke ball three times daily for two weeks according to printed directions supplied with the ball, the defendants would pay to her l.
The advertisement inserted in the Pall Mall Gazette in large type was undoubtedly so inserted in the hope that it would be read by all who read that journal, and the announcement that l. It may be that, of the many readers of the advertisement, very few of the sensible ones would have entertained expectations that in the event of the smoke ball failing to act as a preventive against the disease, the defendants had any intention to fulfil their attractive and alluring promise; but it must be remembered that such advertisements do not appeal so much to the wise and thoughtful as to the credulous and weak portions of the community; and if the vendor of an article, whether it be medicine smoke or anything else, with a view to increase its sale or use, thinks fit publicly to promise to all who buy or use it that, to those who shall not find it as surely efficacious as it is represented by him to be he will pay a substantial sum of money, he must not be surprised if occasionally he is held to his promise.
I notice that in the present case, the promise is of l. Such daily use was sufficient legal consideration to support the promise.
In Williams v Carwardine 4 B. In August,the plaintiff gave information which led to the conviction of one Williams. The Court, consisting of Lord Denman, C.
If authority was wanted to confirm the view I have taken, it is furnished by the case I have just cited. Terrell made similar submissions to the counsel in the Queen's Benchbut also relied on new authorities to argue the company out of any contract.
They again argued that the contract was not like other reward cases, because catching the flu was not something you had control over,  and that the words in the advertisement expressed a vague intention but in no way amounted to a promise.
If one was honestly going to take the advertisement seriously, then it would allow someone that stole the Smoke Ball, and used it and got the flu, to get a reward. But that would be absurd because there would be no benefit given to the company.
And, using the arguments from the Queen's Bench briefly, even if it was a contract between a purchaser and the company, it would still be void as a wagering gambling contract or as an insurance contract without the required form.
After these arguments were given, the court of appeal indicated they did not need further submissions on the wager or insurance point they did not think the arguments were very good at all.
They argued the advertisement was clearly an advertisement that looked like it should be acted on, and it was rich for the company to then say it was an empty boast.
The advert was to the whole public, and a contract arose whenever the conditions in the ad were acted on. The promise is to those who do the required acts, not to those who say and then do the act.Legal principles about unilateral contracts arose from the case of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.
The Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, during an influenza epidemic, placed an advertisement indicating that they promised to pay £ to anyone (hence a unilateral contract) who caught influenza after using their ball as indicated for two weeks.
Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co  1 QB Emphasised the significance of offer and acceptance in contract law; distinguishes between offers and invitations to treat.
Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company  EWCA Civ 1 is an English contract law decision by the Court of Appeal.
It is notable for its curious subject matter and how the influential judges (particularly Lindley LJ and Bowen LJ) developed the law in inventive ways.
Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company  EWCA Civ 1 is an English contract law decision by the Court of Appeal, which held an advertisement containing certain terms to get a reward constituted a binding unilateral offer that could be accepted by anyone who performed its terms.
in Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company. 2 At the other end of the country, about a year previous, the unhappy owner of a defective swimming pool went to court to enforce a product guarantee.
3 The judge was able to grant him his wish, partly due to the legal principles laid out in Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company. Since , Carlill has.
The Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, represented by H. H. Asquith, lost its argument at the Queen's rutadeltambor.com appealed straight away.
The Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the company's arguments and held that there was a fully binding contract .