Dog dies in plane's overhead luggage bin

A family says a United Airline flight attendant demanded their dog be stored in an overhead bin during an approximately three-hour flight.
5:22 | 03/14/18

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Transcript for Dog dies in plane's overhead luggage bin
First that story we are talking about here at "Gma" this morning. That growing outrage in the wake of the united airlines flight. A family says a flight attendant ordered them to put their dog in the overhead luggage bin. When they landed they found that tragic outcome. ABC's linsey Davis is here with more. Good morning, linsey. Reporter: The daughter and mom say they told the flight attendant twice that they had a dog inside the bag before they were told to put it in the overhead compartment and say they could hear the dog barking but because of heavy turbulence no one checked on the dog until the end of the flight. The Castano family loved their puppy kokito. A 10-month-old French bulldog. Catalina and her daughter took him on a family trip to Houston. He was a member of my family. Reporter: The trip ended Monday in a nightmare. The dog died in his soft kennel bag after the family and other passengers on the plane said the flight attendant demanded the puppy's carry-on case be removed from under the seat in front of him into the overhead bin. They were going to put him under the seat and then the flight attendants came. She said, you have to put him up there because it's going to block the path and we're like, it's a dog. It's a dog and she's like, it doesn't matter. You still have to put it up there and she just -- she helped her put it up and she just closed it like it was a baggage. Reporter: The dog reportedly barked softly during the first part of the flight then it stopped. When the plane landed at Laguardia after three hours, they discovered kokito's body and attempted to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She took him out and opened the thing and got the dog and he was -- Reporter: United's own policy and that of every major airline states animals should be put in kennel bags under the seat in front of them. The airline expressed condolences saying in a statement that this never should have occurred. Pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility. It is certainly not safe for a dog to be in a bin. There's not much air and it's -- the dog had no water. It's a terrible situation. It's not something thatuld have occurred under any circumstances. In all my years of flying I never heard a flight attendant asking or forcing somebody to put an animal in the Jo ever head bin. Reporter: Overnight fellow passenger Maggie Gremminger told ABC news the flight attendant seemed shocked and frazzled once the flight landed and she said she did not know there was a dog in the bag. United is still investigating the incident. When it comes to pets small enough to take into the cabin, small dog, cats and rabbits united is very specific about the measurabilities for hard cases but are to those with soft sides like the one in this case united says on their website those may slightly exceed the regular limits because they are collapsible but as we were talking about, it sounds like it may have been a language barrier. Still investigating just what happened. ING 0, so many questions, linsey, let's bring in Dan Abrams here. What are the questions people will have? What is a family T do in a situation like this? Are they responsible? Let's be clear. The dog should not have been in the overhead bin, period. Two questions here. Sort of a moral ethical one and there's a legal one. On a moral ethical level meaning people are going to judge this family, should they have gotten off the plane, et cetera, those are fair questions to ask, but as a legal matter, if a flight attendant instructs you to do something you're supposed to do it meaning we can't say on the one hand when flight attendants tell you to do something you need to do it and on the other if you think it's a bad idea you shouldn't do it. As a legal matter united has a problem here if she did instruct them knowing that there was a dog in the bag. So that's sill some questions to be answered. Let's talk about that flight attendant. What happens to her? I would assume if she instructed a family to put their dog this an overhead bin she's going to be fired. United has even made it clear this is unacceptable. There is a company accepting full responsibility for what happened but it sounds like there's some ambiguity here about exactly what did happen because the flight attendant seeming shocked at the end of the flight that there was a dog in there does lead you to wonder did she actually know or not? United has a really clear policy, animals don't belong in the overhead. Are they facing any potential legal ramifications. The standard will be negligence, the same standard we see in every other case, did they fail to show a proper duty of care to these people and then the other interesting question is if there is negligence, what are the damages? And damages become a veryinteresting controversial issue when it comes to a pet because it used to be you just got the value of the pet meaning a piece of property. It's slowly been moving more to recognize the importance of pets to people, but it's hard to get damages. How do they assess that. It goes case to case but it is very hard to get more than the cost of replacing the animal, the cost of the animal, but in a high-profile case like this, what we've seen in the past is the airlines are typically willing to settle for a little more to make it go away. As we saw the animal is a part of the family. No question. You can give them as much money as you want. It doesn't replace -- I'm just talking about the legal standard, not the practical issues. To you to new trouble for

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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