Ms Laird was offered the position of Managing Director of CBC subject to medical clearance. In the medical questionnaire she did not mention any history of stress and depression. Ms Laird subsequently took substantial periods of time off work with depression. She was suspended pending an internal disciplinary investigation. As part of the investigation she underwent a psychiatric examination to determine the state of her health. The examination revealed a history of recurrent depressive illness which she had not disclosed on her medical questionnaire.
CBC argued that the contract had been frustrated and Ms Laird took early retirement on an ill health pension. CBC then brought a claim against Ms Laird for fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, seeking damages of nearly £1m.
The High Court held that Ms Laird’s responses to the medical questionnaire were neither false nor misleading. She had given responses which a reasonable person in her position would have given and honestly believed the responses to be true. No misrepresentation had occurred.
Cheltenham BC v Laird