LOS ANGELES : 2 Passengers in King’s Car Settle Suits for $55,000

Bryant Allen and the estate of Freddie Helms, the two men who were passengers in Rodney G. King’s car on the night that police arrested and beat King, settled their cases Monday with the city of Los Angeles, accepting $55,000 in return for dropping their lawsuits against the city and a number of other defendants.

The settlements come as King’s civil case is being winnowed down in advance of next month’s trial date. King sued an array of defendants, but in recent days the California Highway Patrol and two Los Angeles Unified School District officers have been dismissed as defendants. Left in his suit are the city, the four officers charged with participating in the March 3, 1991, beating and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Allen will receive $35,000 to settle most of his lawsuit, though sources familiar with the negotiations said he will continue to press his case against the CHP and school district. Helms died in a car accident after the King incident, but his family will receive $20,000 in return for settling the case.