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Former Paloma Industries Ltd. President Toshihiro Kobayashi pleaded not guilty Thursday to professional negligence involving the death of a university student and injury to his older brother caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from a Paloma gas water heater in 2005.

Kobayashi’s codefendant, Wataru Kamatsuka, also pleaded not guilty. Kamatsuka was chief of the product quality management division at Nagoya-based Paloma, one of the nation’s top appliance makers along with Rinnai Corp. and Harman Co.

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