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Over the course of the last 2 years, Congress has tried to find a legislative solution to two very different alleged toxic torts. In November 2002, a rider was attached to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 that would have effectively brought one of the most recent toxic tort litigations – the thimerosal litigation – to an abrupt end. Throughout the spring and summer of 2003, Congress tried to establish a $115 billion national trust fund for perhaps the largest and oldest and possibly most abused toxic tort litigation – the asbestos litigation. Neither of these attempts, for very different reasons, was successful – the thimerosal rider was repealed in early 2003 and in November 2003, the Senate decided not to vote on the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2003. What follows is an overview of those legislative initiatives.

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