Michael Learmonth B.A.Sc., M.B.A., M.Eng., J.D., L.L.B., CFEI, P.Eng.

Senior Associate, Fire & Electrical
Direct: 647-738-5778

Our Associates perform on-site investigations to determine origin and cause of complex losses. Their process: examine and collect evidence, take on-site photos, interview witnesses, conduct testing in our lab and analyze data to produce technical reports that are clear and concise.

 

expert summary

Michael Learmonth became a Registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario in 1978 and is a Senior Forensic Engineer at -30- Forensic Engineering. He has more than 25 years of experience designing, installing, commissioning, starting up and operating production facilities in the steel (Stelco), oil (Shell Canada), power generation (Lambton Generating Station) and chemical (Terra) industries. In addition to multiple university degrees in engineering and business, he completed two law degrees and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1999. He has an additional 17 years of experience working as a forensic engineer primarily investigating fire losses, electrical failures and industrial accidents. Mike is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, both the Canadian and National Association of Fire Investigators and the International Association of Arson Investigators.

SPECIALIZED PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCIES

  • Fire Origin and Cause Investigation
  • Electrical Equipment Failures
  • Process Incidents
  • Production Operations Incidents
  • Chemical Process Design
  • Loss Mitigation and Rehabilitation
  • Computer Fire Modeling
  • O.H.S.A. Requirement Analysis

academic background

Bachelor of Laws, University of Windsor (1997)

Juris Doctor, University of Detroit Mercy (1996)

Master of Engineering, University of Toronto (1983)

Master of Business Administration, McMaster University (1982), Dean’s Honour’s List

Bachelor of Applied Science, Chemical Engineering (Honours), University of Windsor (1972)

additional courses

N.F.P.A. and N.A.F.I. Sponsored Courses and Seminars:

  • 2004 Advanced Fire, Arson and Explosion Training Program
  • Computer Fire Modelling Course
  • Fire Analysis Litigation Seminar
  • Analysis of Electrical Fire Causes
  • 2015 Fire, Arson and Explosion Training Program

employment background

-30- Forensic Engineering
Senior Associate—Fire and Electrical
2003 – Present, Toronto, ON

  • Investigating, reporting and testifying on forensic engineering matters including fires, explosions, electrical failures and injuries, industrial production and operations, product liability, loss prevention and mitigation

Brosz and Associates
Manager of Forensic Engineering Services
1998 – 2003, Markham, ON

  • Managed a group of Professional Engineers and technologists investigating, reporting and testifying of forensic engineering matters including fires and explosions and specializing in electrical related matters

Imperial Oil and Osler, Hoskins & Harcourt
Articling Student in Law Department
1997 – 1998, Toronto, ON

  • Gained experience in the areas of Labour, Construction, Product Liability, Insurance and Environmental Law

Terra International (Canada) Ltd.
Upgrading Production Supervisor and Commissioning Manager
1994 – 1997, Courtright, ON

  • Supervised production in urea, nitric acid, and ammonium nitrate production facilities. Commissioning Manager for a $25 million capital expansion that more than doubled urea production and reduced specific production costs nearly 20%

Joy-MK Projects Company
Field Construction and Commissioning Engineer
1991 – 1994

  • Developed the base commissioning plan for this $200 million capital facility
  • Supervised the installation and commissioning of the instrumentation and all of the control and power electrical wiring
  • The facility scrubbed the sulphur compounds out of the flue gas from two large, coal-fired utility boilers

Shell Canada Products Ltd.
Supervisor of Measurement and Control
1987 – 1991

  • Supervised a group of Professional Engineers and technologists supporting the day-to-day operational activities and new capital projects in an oil refinery and chemical production plant

Stelco Inc.
Senior Engineering Staff Specialist
1973 – 1987

  • Fourteen years in the Combustion Engineering group involved in the design, installation, commissioning and operation of a variety of processing facilities, water treatment facilities and combustion systems including boilers, blast furnaces, coke ovens, soaking pits and reheat furnaces. Managed Stelco’s largest and most critical process control projects including the first two installations of distributed micro-processor based control systems
  • Member of the Stelco’s software evaluation committee charged with evaluating new software considered for use by the Engineering Department

professional societies and associations

Associations

  • Registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario since 1978
  • Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1999
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and member of the National Association of Fire Investigators since 1999
  • Member of the National Fire Protection Association since 2000
  • Member of the International Association of Arson Investigators since 2000
  • Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences since 2002
  • Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers from 2004 to 2012
  • Member of the Canadian Association of Fire Investigators since 2004

Publications and speaking engagements

Court & ADR Appearances:

Qualified and testified as a fire origin and cause expert with particular expertise in electrical causes, in courts in both Canada and the United States:

  • Ellis-Don Limited v. Canon Canada Inc., Ontario Court General Division, Court File No.: 92-CU-56528, 1999 (File 3386-96)
  • Abdella Karkari, et al. and Ted Smith Building Services, et al., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No.: 98-CV-8391, 2002 (File 4279-01)
  • Her Majesty the Queen against Nathan Kales, Ontario Court of Justice, 2004 (File 32K150)
  • Maggi-B Limited v. Toronto Hydro-Electric Commission, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No.: 99-CV-172243A, 2005 (File 3931-99 &32L212)
  • Elizabeth Eddy/Lucy Raposo, et al v. Fisher-Price, et al., Massachusetts Superior Court, Civil Action No.: 96-01931, 2005 (File 4306-01 & 32L207)
  • Illinois Power v. Wegman Electric, Circuit Court, third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois, Court File No.: 98 L 280, 2007 (File 3934-99 & 57F243)
  • Rita Hamilton et al. v. Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No.: 2523-02, 2008 (File 42L253)
  • Bain et. al. v. Black and Decker of Canada, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No.: 05-19890, 2009 (File 74L694)
  • 1369349 Ontario Inc. v. Andrew Bates cob Live Wire Electrical et al., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No. 06-0663, 2010 (File 60490)
  • D.M. Drugs Ltd. v. Barry Edward Bywater, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No. C6889/02, 2011 (File 80231)

Testified under oath in several depositions in the United States as a fire origin and cause expert:

  • Pajerski Foods Inc. v. Tri-Con Maintenance Services et al., Circuit Court, 19th Judicial District, McHenry County, Illinois, Court File No.: 99 LA 221, 2000 (File 4085-00)
  • Illinois Power v. Wegman Electric, Circuit Court, third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois, Court File No.: 98 L 280, two depositions, 2000 and 2006 (File 3934-99 & 57F243)
  • Elizabeth Eddy/Lucy Raposo, et al v. Fisher-Price, et al., Massachusetts Superior Court, Civil Action No.: 96-01931, 2004 (File 4306-01 & 32L207)

Appeared at mediations, arbitrations and pre-trial hearings as a forensic engineering expert:

  • Novaquest v. Liquipure, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 2004 (File 4439-01 & 34L211)
  • M.G. Transport Canada Limited et al. v. Halsall Associates Limited et al., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No.: 02-CV-2388902CM1, 2005 (File 32L216)
  • Hadzirstic v. Cosmos Electrical Co., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No. 05-CV-298033SR, 2006 (File 52L239)
  • Whitco Canada Inc. v. Calgon Carbon Corp., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No. 01-CV-208288, 2007 (File 72L140)
  • Shell Canada Limited et al. v. Toronto Hydro Corporation et al., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No.: 05-CV-283938PD1, 2007 (File 52L051)
  • H&R Property Management Ltd. v. Electrical Safety Authority, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No. CV-09-00369705, 2010 (File 90232)
  • Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 1302 v. Nortown Electrical Contractors Associates, et al., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File no.: CV-08-00359906, 2012 (File 62B358)

Technical Papers:

  • “Optimal Heating of Steel in Slab Furnaces”, Association of Iron and Steel Engineers 1984
  • “Testing High Intensity Discharge Lamps for Breakage from Thermal Shock”, published in the Canadian Association of Fire Investigators Journal in 2014 Volume 1

Presentations:

  • “Examination-in-Chief Demonstration and Discussion”, National Expert Witness Academy for the Advocates Society 2012
  • “Technology in the Courtroom Series - Demonstrative Aids”, Courtroom Series for the Advocates Society 2014

Publications:

  • Several photographs and diagrams illustrating the documentation of fire patterns by Mr. Learmonth were included in the 5th and 6th editions of Kirk’s Fire Investigation by John DeHaan.
  • Eight recommendations for additions or modifications to NFPA 921, the Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, submitted by Mr. Learmonth to the NFPA were adopted and are included in the 2008 edition.
  • Six recommendations for additions or modifications to NFPA 921, the Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, submitted by Mr. Learmonth to the NFPA were adopted and are included in the 2011 edition.
  • Three recommendations for additions or modifications to NFPA 921, the Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, submitted by Mr. Learmonth to the NFPA were adopted and are included in the 2014 edition.
  • Mr. Learmonth’s photograph of fire damage created by a fire ignited by electrical arcing, won first prize in the Accidental Category in the 2003 Photographic Award Competition conducted by the International Association of Arson Investigators and was published in the July 2003 edition of Fire & Arson Investigator - the Journal of the International Association of Arson Investigators.
  • Mr. Learmonth’s photograph of severe spalling of concrete created by a fire involving propane cylinders, won first prize in the Accidental Category in the 2006 Photographic Award Competition conducted by the International Association of Arson Investigators, was published in the July 2006 edition and was the cover photo of the January 2007 edition of Fire & Arson Investigator - the Journal of the International Association of Arson Investigators.
 

NEWS / INSIGHTS / EVENTS

01/08/2014

Testing High Intensity Discharge Lamps for Breakage from Thermal Shock
In this article that appears in the CAFI (Canadian Association of Fire Investigators) Journal, Michael Learmonth, B.A.Sc., M.B.A., M.Eng.,...
Read more