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Mixed linear models describe the dependence via random effects in multivariate normal survival data. Recently they have received considerable attention in the biomedical literature. They model the conditional survival times, whereas the alternative frailty model uses the conditional hazard rate. We develop an inferential method for the mixed linear model via Lee and Nelder's (1996) hierarchical-likelihood (h-likelihood). Simulation and a practical example are presented to illustrate the new method.