ATLANTA - The first Georgia lawsuit stemming from a national outbreak linked to seven states was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Valdosta Division against Nebraska Beef Limited. The complaint was filed on behalf of Evelyn and John M. Stewart of Moultrie, Ga.

The lawsuit states that on June 20, 2008, the Stewarts ate at the Barbeque Pit in Moultrie. Days later, Mrs. Stewart began having bloody diarrhea and signs of renal failure. She was admitted to the Colquitt Regional Medical Center, where she tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 and was diagnosed with HUS, or Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. On June 26, she was transferred to the Archbold Memorial Hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit in Thomasville, Ga., where she continues to battle the complications of the infection.

The Stewarts are represented by Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm dedicated to representing victims of foodborne illness, and by Albany attorney F. Faison Middleton, IV of Watson, Spence, Lowe & Chambless, LLP.

William Marler, the Stewarts’ attorney, said, “These people should not be in ICU, fighting for their lives, just because they went out to dinner. We have the ability to legislate, regulate, and eliminate E. coli from our food supply, and we need to see Congressional action