Why We Do What We Do
What’s in a Name?
If it’s familiar but you can’t quite place it, the name is derived from the famous case of Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company  1 QB 256.
The defendants, who were proprietors of a medical preparation called “The Carbolic Smokeball,” issued an advertisement in which they offered to pay £100 to any person who succumbed to influenza after having used one of their smokeballs in a specified manner and for a specified period. They added that they had deposited a sum of £1,000 with their bankers “to show their sincerity.” The plaintiff, on the faith of the advertisement, bought and used the ball as prescribed, but caught influenza. She successfully sued for the £100.