The dog that died of suffocation on a United Airlines flight is about to be the centerpiece of a looming lawsuit and possible criminal charges ... according to the grieving family's attorney.
The lawyer for the Robledo family, Evan Oshan, tells TMZ United has yet to adequately answer questions about Kokito's death. The dog suffocated in an overhead bin after a flight attendant ordered the dog's owner to stash it up there. The dog barked persistently ... but no one came to its rescue.
Oshan says United's moves thus far have been nothing but face-saving -- and the airline has not provided the family with what they want ... the ID of the person responsible for killing their pet. Oshan has been demanding the flight attendant's name.
He thinks the evidence thus far in the active investigation(s) will lead to criminal charges -- animal cruelty -- and he says a civil case is also forthcoming. Buckle up, folks ... turbulence ahead.