Suburban Philly man drops suit over mansion fire

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — 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 (http://bit.ly/Z6aUF9) reports Thursday 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.

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.

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

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com

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