Penn. Man Drops Suit Over Mansion Fire, Will Split $18.5M Insurance Payout

A suburban Philadelphia man has decided to drop his legal battle against a Canadian couple he claimed had schemed to buy, and then burn down, his historic 19-bedroom mansion in an insurance-fraud plot.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on April 18 that both sides will split the $18.5 million insurance payout. That means they’ll get far more cash than either paid, or offered to pay, for the estate designed by Horace Trumbauer.

Jerald S. Batoff, a real estate executive who lived on the estate since 2001, will keep more than $7 million. Dean Topolinski, the Toronto businessman Batoff accused of arson and racketeering, will get the remaining $11 million plus the seven-acre tract in Radnor, Penn.

Fire officials have disagreed over the cause of the April 2012 blaze at the estate, which was built around 1885.