Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball
- D sold smoke balls. They made an advertisement that said that they would pay a reward to anyone who got the flu after using the ball as directed 3 times a day for 2 weeks. They showed their sincerity by depositing money is a specific bank.
- P used the D's product as advertised. P then contracted influenza.
- P asked for payment and sued D after D refused to pay.
- Lower court found for P, contract valid.
- Court of Appeal affirmed, found for P, contract valid.
- How does an offer for a reward become binding?
- What kind of notification is required in cases where the offer can be accepted by performance only?
- An offer for a reward (offers that can only be accepted by performance only) becomes binding upon the performance of the conditions requested in the offer.
- In cases where the offer can be accepted by performance only, notification of acceptance does not need to precede the performance (offeror does not expect and does not require notice of the acceptance apart from notice of the performance).
- In offers of rewards, they are offers to anybody who performs the conditions named, and anybody who does perform the condition accepts the offer. The performance of the conditions is the acceptance of the offer.
- If notice of acceptance is required, the person who makes the offer gets the notice of acceptance contemporaneously with his notice of the performance of the condition.
- Advertisers get benefit out of this kind of arrangement which is enough to constitute consideration.
- The offeree has suffered detriment necessary for consideration by using the product as prescribed.
- Court looked at the context of the offer to aid the court in making an interpretation about how the party expected to get notice.
- Public nature of the offer.
- Would be too much correspondence, too much paper, not much good.