Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Bob Linville, Part 3

This is a continuation of the interview with Bob Linville on December 17, 2013 by Alicia Zorzetto at the public library in Seward, Alaska. Amanda Johnson operated the video camera. In this third part of a four part interview, Bob talks about the health problems he developed as a result of exposure to oil and dispersants while working on the cleanup of the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. He talks about the details of his medical conditon, as well as his battle with insurance companies to cover the costs of his treatment.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2013-26-14_PT.3

Project: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Dec 17, 2013
Narrator(s): Bob Linville
Interviewer(s): Alicia Zorzetto
Videographer: Amanda Johnson
Transcriber: Joan O'Leary
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
Alaska Resources Library & Information Services, Alaska State Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
Slideshow
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Sections

Beginning of chronic health problems and being diagnosed with autoimmune disease

Drug therapy treatment

Treatment through control of diet, and delayed health problems related to oil spill

Treatment through yoga and bee stings

Quitting work and continued decline in health

Anemia and impact on blood

Trouble with insurance coverage

Lawsuit over insurance coverage

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After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.

Transcript

BOB LINVILLE: So, I don’t know if that's good, but nowadays they won’t let you -- they won’t let them do it without a full hazmat suit on.

They basically did it. You know, where we all were there, you know, so we were exposed to that pretty extensively.

And I didn’t really notice much, you know. I feel pretty good in those days, you know.

I -- pretty physical guy, you know, into mountain climbing and working construction in the winter and outside and you know, fishing.

Setnetting's really hard physical labor and I had no trouble with any of that, but towards the end of the summer there I felt like somebody kicked me in the tailbone, you know.

And that was just a chronic problem and it just came. I don’t even remember exactly, you know, when it started, but it just came and it just stayed.

And everybody else in the family felt fine. I don’t know why it was me.

And who knows what even caused it, but I’m blaming the oil. I worked in it probably more than anybody else.

And then I had to, you know, I worked on the nets and on the beach all the time,

and they had oil on them sometimes from the -- on a hot sunny day and the Corexit,

but I got this tailbone pain that just got worse and worse and wouldn’t quit.

So in the fall I felt like I had to do something. I went into this local chiropractor. He's really a wonderful guy. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh,

BOB LINVILLE: And he didn’t think it was worth him doing anything related to this, you know, chiropractic wise.

And he told me he needed an X-ray, so I went up and got one. I came back down there and it was zero sign of anything.

So he sent me to doctors in Anchorage and I went through a pretty long process up there with a lot of different tests and finally somebody gave me an arthritis blood panel.

And they diagnosed it as ankylosing spondylitis, which is, you know, it's not a really totally unheard of autoimmune condition.

I had never heard of it, you know, but there's -- I don’t know, there's an association magazine and all that reports there's a few people suffer this thing.

For some reason I just -- there's a genetic marker that you have and that's how they identified out of the blood panel this antigen that you have.

It types you as you've got this certain genetic code.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

BOB LINVILLE: That causes you to have this antigen.

And if you have that -- and like 95% of the people that get this have that antigen, but probably not even a fraction of 1% of the people that have that antigen get it.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Get it. BOB LINVILLE: So it's not like you're going to get, but

if you have that antigen you can get it.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. Now, do they know how you can get it or --

BOB LINVILLE: Nobody really -- besides genetics the -- if you’re the type that has that antigen then you can --

ALICIA ZORZETTO: They'll probably know.

BOB LINVILLE: That -- that -- that is what tells them that you’re, you know, you’re susceptible to -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

BOB LINVILLE: Whatever causes it, which like most autoimmune diseases that medical industry really doesn’t know much about that.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

BOB LINVILLE: And anyway it -- it -- this particular one it starts to attack your lower back, your sacroiliac.

They call it like rheumatic arthritis of the trunk, you know.

Most people it starts right there in the sacroiliac and so that’s why I was feeling like somebody kicked me in the tailbone. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

BOB LINVILLE: And then it can spread over time in some people. In some people it just stays there, but it --

it’s a really painful thing and it can go on for the rest of your life.

And in some people it spreads all the way up through the neck and their chest and it just bends. It can bend the neck over like that where you're just stuck looking down, you know.

And cause you -- Everything hurts so bad you just slowly you just kind of go down like that.

And the chest cavity can seize up because everything -- the bone -- they call it bamboo spine because it -- the reaction to all this inflammation it just plates up bone and so where the vertebrae you can see a little wider spot, so you got this like piece of bamboo.

And the chest just -- all the -- where the attachments to the rib cage to the spine just kind of seize up so it won’t move and won’t expand, so people get to where they can’t really breathe right.

They can’t straighten up their neck and, you know, it's just a really -- I don’t know -- I don’t know if it's worse than any other autoimmune disease or not, but it's not very fun.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: No.

BOB LINVILLE: So what, you know, medically at that time they gave me -- a rheumatologist said, you know, we can give you basically the standard non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as Afrin, which there's like 125 different varieties.

And they started me out on one of them and it just was like it just -- I took that drug every day and it was just gone.

Absolutely just removed the symptoms from my life.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Good. BOB LINVILLE: I didn’t have them and so --

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Well, that’s good.

BOB LINVILLE: With his prescriptions I just kept doing that, you know, about two years anyway before I had any further problem.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. BOB LINVILLE: I didn’t like taking this drug permanently, but --

and I don’t think it's really good for the human body to take those -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: No.

BOB LINVILLE: Non-steroidal, you know, like aspirin-type drugs because it --

they suppress the inflammation, but in doing so they suppress the prostaglandins and what they do with most things they have a huge role in a lot of different things.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: And you were pretty young to be taking --

BOB LINVILLE: I was thirty -- I wasn’t that young. That was in 1991, so when I got this I was like 38 years.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: That’s still young.

It’s pretty young to be taking -- BOB LINVILLE: Yeah.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: -- drugs on a daily basis, I think.

BOB LINVILLE: Well, I kept doing everything I was doing, you know.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah.

BOB LINVILLE: Didn’t let it affect me too much. But as time went on I started suffering some of the side effects of taking this drug every day,

so I had to move to another drug cause that’s always prostaglandins effect the lining of your gut.

You start getting gut pain and then after a while it hurt -- the gut pain's so bad that --

ALICIA ZORZETTO: You had to stop.

BOB LINVILLE: You probably have to stop anyway. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

BOB LINVILLE: And the other pain you're trying to stop is even as bad as the gut pain, so --

Then he'd give me a different one and it would work, you know.

I went through three of those between 1990 and 1993 or so. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Huh.

BOB LINVILLE: ’94. And about that time -- the last one -- I think only lasted for about six months.

And then I couldn’t take it anymore. So, then he gave me this one that really did have a intolerable side effects, you know, really bad headaches and stuff.

And it was just going downhill and I was working that winter up at the hotel in Girdwood.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

BOB LINVILLE: And I just remember trying to make it to work, you know, and having -- taking this new drug and trying to, you know, without the drug I was just, you know, really having a hard --

I couldn’t walk without a limp, you know. It just was painful --

really hard and to hold down a ten hour day construction job, you know, with this whole thing going on.

And I could do it if I had an adequate drug, but I just couldn’t really do it with this one he gave me and so I don’t think I really found it.

I don’t think I tried another one after that. I can’t remember if he gave me one or not, but I decided I was going just try to control it with diet and all that.

I just totally stopped eating everything but like oatmeal and vegetables, you know, and beans and that was it.

And everything kind of -- it really helped.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Did it?

BOB LINVILLE: So I think it was the dietary trigger.

It backed it off where I could work, you know, and I didn’t take any drugs for a while after that.

And I remember my rheumatologist he thought you got to take these things.

He was going to doling them out, you know. He didn’t really believe in any dietary.

Whatever, I think autoimmune you really -- you got to try whatever you can.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Anything, yeah.

BOB LINVILLE: Painkillers have their own reacting -- their own problems.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah.

BOB LINVILLE: So anyway I continued to go downhill. And I mean by this time we'd already gone through the whole sign up process for this legal settlement, you know.

And I just signed up with everybody else in the class action suit for the oil spill. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

BOB LINVILLE: Really -- really know that I had a long road ahead of me on this health thing.

I never brought it up. I mean it pretty much oiled our place at Driftwood Bay and they oiled our set site and then it seriously affected our drift operation.

And I was signed up for those class action parts of that huge lawsuit. The drift -- set net and the real estate. Those all affected.

And in hindsight if I’d known what I was going to go through health wise I probably wouldn’t have signed into the class action.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

BOB LINVILLE: And I know that everybody else who got sick, they've got this kind of thing probably didn’t know for a few years either.

I mean you start feeling something and you really don’t know what it is or how bad it's going to get and you don’t pin it to the dots.

But mine it just kept getting a lot worse and it was just a constant downhill slide really from the start.

It's just that I was able to ignore it for a few years.

We kept setnetting every year, and I just, you know, really work wasn’t a bad thing because, you know, it's just a matter of whether I could, you know, feel limber enough. This thing really seizes you up at night.

So in the morning somehow you got to get your body moving. It's really stiff. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

BOB LINVILLE: I started doing yoga in 1984 and I kept doing that.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Oh, wow.

BOB LINVILLE: I’m still doing it.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Good for you.

BOB LINVILLE: I think that’s one reason that I didn’t -- I don’t know why I did -- my bone didn’t play up like that, but it did.

I could feel it in my whole lower back was just as hard as a rock, but I was able to keep my neck from doing that and my chest cavity, you know, never did.

Although it just -- I couldn’t sneeze, you know, I couldn’t -- anything -- it was just really painful all the time, you know.

There was no way I could -- if I wasn’t taking a drug later on that I was going to get out of it.

I tried this new thing. I tried these bee stings in 1995 I think it was, and bee stings because they have a powerful effect on the immune system.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Okay.

BOB LINVILLE: So you can order bees in a jar.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Really.

BOB LINVILLE: Yeah. And their -- I’m not the only one.

I mean, it's helping people do it for multiple sclerosis or whatever. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Okay.

BOB LINVILLE: And you just take a bee out of there with a pair of tweezers and just, you know --

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Wow.

BOB LINVILLE: You put them down there and they'll sting you and I did like three of them the first time and I had a huge positive reaction to that.

The stings each got really big welts and itched and my whole autoimmune system just really backed off.

I think my immune system had something else to occupy it. That’s what I think.

And the first time I did three and then, you know, that worked for awhile and then I’d do like six a day.

And slowly my immune system just kind of came -- came kind of used to this bee venom.

It wasn’t working, although I read that other people it worked pretty much forever for them, but I needed more and more of them to get the relief out of it.

And so we got a hive -- my wife and I and we -- she was -- you know it was quite an operation to get the whole family and all the fishing equipment.

In Prince William Sound you have to tear your cabin down and build it up every year, so trying to go setnetting was a massive undertaking.

And I’d already be out there drifting, so I'd have to, you know, she’d be working on the land side end of things and trying to get everything into Whittier so I could come in to get her and take a load out. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

BOB LINVILLE: And she was coming out with our deckhand’s family. Carol and Bruce.

Bruce fished, too, so he was out there. Carol had her two kids and they had two dogs, and we had three kids and one dog plus the two ladies and like a couple thousand dollars worth of groceries from Costco.

And they were driving down in Carol’s Suburban from Anchorage to Whittier, you know, to Portage to get on the train to Whittier. And they broke down.

So they're sitting on the side of the road with this massive -- and a bee hive in the back.

And so some guy comes along and asked if they needed help because there's two women with the hood up and they said, "Yeah."

He said, "Well, hop in." They said, "Well, we got four kids, two dogs and a bee hive." And he said, "Go ahead, get in. Bring it all."

I don’t know what he was driving.

They loaded all that in there and got a ride to Whittier cause I would've known if they didn’t show up. I was just there waiting.

They got in there and just left the rig.

We took it all out and we set up that bee hive. And they'd been kind of trapped in there for that whole time and we opened it up and the bees come pouring out of there.

And we had our friend that lived like a quarter mile away across the other side of this cove, and their -- the grandma that was taking care of their camp

she made pies and cakes and cupcakes and all that all the time, and it wasn’t an hour from the time those bees came out of that hive to where they were at her camp.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Oh, no.

BOB LINVILLE: It's amazing how bees can sniff the sugar, you know.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Oh, yeah.

BOB LINVILLE: They just found it right now.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: That’s funny.

BOB LINVILLE: She just, you know, she was happy. She liked bees. She'd put a little plate of something out for the bees and they'd have at it, you know.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Funny.

BOB LINVILLE: But I kept the stings up while we fished and I don’t know most of that summer, but it got to where I was doing 50 or 60 of them a day.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Oh.

BOB LINVILLE: And I wasn’t getting more than half of them, so I gave it up.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Oh my gosh.

BOB LINVILLE: Kept the bees until the winter and tried to get them through the winter, but it's really pretty hard up here to do that. They died.

And so that was like the end of 1995 -- or no the end of 1996 that I did that. And then in ’97 I worked jobs here in Seward in the winter after that.

In ’96, I worked on the -- ’96 and ’7, I worked on the Sealife Center and then I worked on the hospital.

And by that time, you know, I was pretty much at the end of my strength and to work.

And I was able to work, but I don’t think I would be able -- really able to put out the work that I needed to to justify occupying a place on the crew on the construction project.

But I stuck it out until that job ended and my blood count started to drop.

I think it's just the -- I was just really so inflamed that there wasn’t enough place on body you could touch that wasn’t involved, you know.

It was just inflamed from head to toe, you know.

And my spine was really pretty seized kind of although I had -- I was still trying to do yoga. I couldn’t really get into child’s pose, you know, but I could just --

I think it's just the movement that I was able to do and the breathing that kept me from seizing up worse.

But I literally wasn’t doing anything. I was taking aspirin every now and then, you know, on a really bad day, but I just couldn’t really do anything, you know, any drug. There wasn’t anything out there.

There are new things now, you know, we've got a new way of doing it. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

BOB LINVILLE: These T&F inhibitors, you know, they came out after that.

I think help people get through it.

So I just I -- after I quit working in 1998, I never did anymore of that kind of work.

And I went down to -- I did a lot more alternative medicine.

I went down to Reno for three months, I think, and did the clinic down there.

It's a well-known clinic for alternative medicine for people that have autoimmune diseases, you know.

I did a lot of new things I’d never done and some of that I don’t even know what it is.

IV’s and stuff. I don’t know what they were and that did have an impact on it, you know.

But it was really expensive when you pay for that out of your own pocket.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah.

BOB LINVILLE: So I couldn’t really keep it up forever, but it was good.

And my blood counts kind of stabilized there. They were half the normal at that time.

And they did kind of stabilize and I started -- as doing the yoga, I tried, you know, just whatever workout I could do.

And I think kind of with eating really well and doing yoga, and working out, and just trying to live a really good clean life I was able to stabilize things.

And that went on for about a year at that level, and then it just -- it's like I went off a cliff.

My blood counts just went to practically zero in a matter of two or three months, and I didn’t realize it was happening, you know.

I wouldn’t get blood tests that often.

And I was trying to pick up a piece of sheetrock just with another guy, not even a full sheet, and I just couldn’t do it.

I exert my strength and I'd just have to sit down. Oof -- oof, you know. I just couldn’t get the air.

So I went in and I just -- my blood counts were just critically low.

And so I went up to Anchorage. They diagnosed that as aplastic--

first they diagnosed it as anemia from the disease when they first started to drop two years before, and then they diagnosed that as aplastic anemia, you know.

And I just connect all this to the beginning of -- my bone marrow was doing what it had to do and it was just attacking my body so hard that something had to give and that's your immune system.

That's what's doing it.

So they say, for me they do a bone marrow biopsy they can see what’s in you. What's -- what is there, you know, they take it out of the back of your pelvis and they can see what you've got.

And I had less than two percent stem cells than normal. Two percent cellularity is what I had.

So the cells were still normal. There's other names for these diseases if they’re not.

You know, leukemia is a bone marrow disease.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. Used to have enough of them?

BOB LINVILLE: No. So, if that's all three of your blood cells -- the platelets -- the red cells and the white cells so that’s the end of the definition of that particular type of anemia.

Some of them just affect the white cells like leukemia, and they push everything else out.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

BOB LINVILLE: But, so I had to deal with that and then I was on blood transfusions from then on.

And this is -- if you’re in that world, you know, you find out there's a lot of people like that, you know, but it's something that's difficult to manage on a real long term.

Cause you've got a lot of other issues when it starts getting into blood.

And one is iron overload because you're not making your own blood, you know. I didn’t have any stem cells. I couldn’t make my own blood and that's why your body is just -- it's set up to hoard iron to make blood,

but if you're getting this massive load of blood, you know, blood transfusion and you're not using any up to make your own blood then it's got -- it's going to get hoarded.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. BOB LINVILLE: That's what's going to happen.

And it’s -- it's stored in your liver and your heart mainly and, you know, the normal reading for a ferritin in blood would be about under 300 or something.

And I was at about 10,000 a couple of years in.

And it's really difficult to survive that. So you had -- you take these iron overload drugs which are miserable, you know.

And there's a whole 'nother story there, and it doesn’t relate to the oil spill.

Of what the medical system in this country, you know, some of the dysfunctionality that they have where --

I couldn’t get the iron overload drug I really needed, you know, until the one that they do approve was going to kill me.

And then they finally after a year of -- they have what's called a comprehensive, I think it was a program through the FDA that you could get this drug if you had to have it to live.

And I was able to do that, but by that time I was kind of toward the end of that anyway.

I needed a bone marrow transplant and there wasn’t -- there was two things happened there about six or eight months after we started this search for bone marrow donor

I found out that the insurance company wasn’t going to pay.

You don’t really know right off. They don’t -- I don’t think want you to know.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah.

BOB LINVILLE: They weren’t paying for this search expenses and we hadn’t found a donor anyway.

And so I just had to keep getting blood transfusions, and I couldn’t even do any more search because they weren’t paying.

Like this -- I couldn’t get the bone marrow transplant anyway if they weren’t going to pay because they require you have $250,000 in the hospital’s bank account where they do this in Seattle to get in the door or have a letter from the insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid. One of these.

You had to have something so they know they're going to get paid -- at least something. I mean $250,000 isn’t going to begin to cover it,

but it's enough to where they get something.

And they deserve it, I mean that hospital is saving people’s lives.

And they're so efficient and it's just amazing they do what they do so good.

I don’t deny the hospital getting paid.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

BOB LINVILLE: The sad thing is that the insurance company even if you pay them a fortune they don’t --

I think they look at a case -- I mean -- this probably doesn’t belong in the oil spill interview, but they look at it as a matter of money --

I mean if they don’t think you can live through -- they know that it won’t ever be heard by a court for three or four years and you got to go through --

after they finally find out they're not paying it takes at least 18 months to go through their whole appeal process.

And then if you’re even capable, which most people aren’t, you can take them to court.

So they know you're probably going to die with that and I’m telling you this is --

There's no doubt in my mind and that's Safeco. You know, I was insured -- first I was insured by my electrical insurance, which really is an hour bank, but I paid into that for 20 years.

But after that hour bank runs out you’re done with them and that's six months.

And then you go on Cobra which I did. And then that's kind of expensive, but at least you have insurance and I needed insurance.

The blood transfusions are real expensive. All the drugs that I have and everything.

My medical -- your ongoing medical care was more than we could even begin to handle -- my wife and I.

And so they -- we had that covered.

You know, first by my union insurance then by my Cobra and then by Patty’s insurance working here at the City of Seward, which is a high dollar plan, you know, one of the -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

BOB LINVILLE: Cadillac plans. It costs a lot of money.

And this entity here City of Seward is part of the Alaska Public Utilities Insurance Trust which was the other cities and utilities in the state of Alaska.

And they basically pool together and they self-insure of which I had no knowledge of any of this at the time.

You know, I didn’t know who said no to me. In other words I blamed APUIT and our local representative who's on the staff of the city.

Nobody ever told me who was saying no and it wasn’t them.

They were -- they were insured up to $100,000 and they would've covered me.

There's no way they would have said no, you know, looking back in hindsight when somebody -- an employee in any of those groups get sick they pay up to $100,000.

And then above that it was Safeco and I had no idea who it was then, but SC said no.

I didn’t know that's who it was until we got to court and I wouldn’t have known -- I would have never got to court, but my doctor’s clinic is Katmai Oncology.

It's still there. That's one of the biggest cancer clinic in Anchorage, I think.

And they see it all the time unfortunately with their patients. Same thing.

People that have good insurance and paying a lot of money for their insurance, but have this disease, it's kind of rare and it's not like breast cancer.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. BOB LINVILLE: Or prostate or something they just can’t say no to and get away with it.

But like me it was aplastic anemia. It's not that common. They can just say no and just see what happens.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Wow.

BOB LINVILLE: And so they had a person on staff basically --

not on staff but just contracted who used to be a nurse. It's not a lawyer, and she’d take these cases, you know.

So you'd -- as me I’m sick, I’ve got a family, I’m in Seward. I’m probably not going to initiate a lawsuit in this thing, you know.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

BOB LINVILLE: I had my hands full.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. BOB LINVILLE: Day to day and we -- I don’t think would have ever done anything.

And, but this lady there in Anchorage made it happen and we got to court, I think, in the fall of 2000 and -- or, yeah, 2000.

I got diagnosed with aplastic anemia in September of 2000 -- year 2000.

And we got to court in the fall of 2003. So we had our trial.

And I went up for that with both my boys. And we had a big firm lawyer there. It was just me and my two sons and Paula Jacobson, our lawyer, and a big firm lawyer on the insurance company side and the judge.

And the judge was Russell Holland. This is federal court. Same judge that did the oil spill.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Oh, wow.

BOB LINVILLE: Case. You know, there's three federal judges in Anchorage so if you put your case in federal court, you're going to get one of those three judges.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. BOB LINVILLE: So we got the same judge.

And basically the oil spill or the big firm lawyer he --

I admired Judge Holland already because I liked the way he managed that trial. I'll always admire him for that. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

BOB LINVILLE: And the lawyer from I don’t remember what firm there, but it's one of the bigger ones, he got up and he gave his reason.

The insurance company’s case for not covering me and it was just so ridiculously inadequate to even delay for three years. It was just a joke, you know.

And Paula Jacobson got up and just went through the 30 or 40 different places in their insurance booklet where they basically had to cover me.

It was in their own writing and their own booklet that they drew up themselves.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. BOB LINVILLE: You know, and she just started going through it page by page.

And here, here, here, here -- you cover transplants for this. You cover this, that and the other and --

and I just -- to me it was just a glaring example of how the insurance companies really work.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah. BOB LINVILLE: And Judge Holland didn’t have any trouble ruling on it.

And he ruled that, you know, you needed to send a letter down to the hospital and cover me.

So you think that's what would happen, but it didn’t. You know, they didn’t.

And another six months went by and Paula Jacobson wrote them a letter.

It said basically if you guys don’t get that letter down there, you know, one of three things is going to happen.

And one of them was contempt of court.

And that's when they went back. They said well we didn’t understand the -- they just said we didn’t think it needed to cover the search.

We needed, you know, we’re willing to cover the transplant. We're not willing to cover the search.

I mean that's about fifty grand.

The judge just said I don’t know what it was you, you know, you didn’t understand.

It was in there. And he just basically threatened them with contempt of court if they didn’t get the letter down there. And so they did.

So it was clear into March when they got the letter down there. And then they had to go back to court again for Paula to get paid.

So in the end the insurance company paid for my health care because they had to all along. They weren’t denying they had to do that, which was very expensive.

And then they paid for the bone marrow transplant with the search and then they paid the Paula Jacobson’s fee. I think this --

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Goodness.

BOB LINVILLE: This is a lot of different expenses for them, but on the long run I think they do this enough times and win.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh. BOB LINVILLE: The person dies, and they don’t have to pay for his health care.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. BOB LINVILLE: Which is probably a million dollars for somebody like me.

They built a huge field down there called Safeco Field in Seattle, you know.

My opinion is that it's a lot of dead bodies went into the profits to pay for that, you know.

But anyway then we started the search again and there wasn’t anybody right off, but by like September or something they found a person.