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Famous Case During Influenza Epidemic Famous Case During Influenza Epidemic

Bronze medal Reporter Names Posted 31 Mar 2020
Famous Case During Influenza Epidemic

Currently when the novel coronavirus pandemic goes on affecting countries globally , there is a very famous case that happened during the influenza epidemic called :

Carlill V. Carbolic Smokeball Co.

Usually , when an epidemic or a pandemic comes , there can be self-medication as well as fake medicines emerging and which makes people buy by mentioning that it can cure the person from that particular epidemic or pandemic.  Always consult a doctor in case you feel unwell or when you feel unwell .When such advertisements pop out saying that that medicine can cure that particular pandemic or epidemic, do not try it. Never try self-medication.

Case In Brief

Here, in this case too the similar thing happened. In Carlill V. Carbolic Smokeball Co. , where the plaintiff was Lilli Carlill and the Defendant was Carbolic Smokeball Company. So during the influenza epidemic , Defendant advertised that the product of the company would help in preventing influenza. So , on seeing this advertisement , plaintiff bought the Carbolic Smokeball and used it as per the directions given on it  and got flu.

So , the direction were that when the Carbolic Smokeball was to be used thrice everyday in a period of two weeks then it would help in preventing cold and influenza and the Defendant offered that an amount of hundred pounds would be given to the person who gets flu on the usage of the product of the Defendant. As a show of sincerity , Defendant had deposited an amount of thousand pounds in the bank. On catching flu by using the product , the plaintiff filed a suit to recover hundred pounds.

The issue was whether the advertising of the Defendant about reward of hundred pounds was an express promise or not .

It was held in the case the plaintiff can recover the hundred pounds and is entitled for the same.

Normally , when advertisements say that they would reward a certain amount , it does not enforce it but in this case , the Defendant had deposited thousand pounds as a mark of their sincerity which the court found it to be a promise.


It is obvious that an epidemic or pandemic creates panic in human mind and a fear so when such medicines are advertised , people rush to buy it to prevent that particular pandemic or epidemic which is not right . That sort of self-medication can cause negative effects . It is always important to consult a medical practitioner or a doctor and get medicines prescribed by them . Never ever self-medicate. It is always a no-no.

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