There is no specified express warranty that must come with any purchased item; but there is an implied warranty of merchantability that is imposed both by common law and by statute;
for statute please see here:
Basically this means that the merchant warrants that the product will be good for a reasonable time period, and can be used for the general purpose for which such item is typically used. So because the law does not provide an exact time frame (it varies based on the product purchased, and the legislature has not specified a time frame for furniture) it will come down to what the judge thinks is reasonable.
Normally when a person purchases a couch, and not a basement bargain couch, they expect to have it for longer than 3 years -otherwise it would be cheaper to rent from a rental facility. So as long as it can be proven that the damage was not caused by the consumer's negligence/willful acts, and there is proof that the material is deficient/defective (ie professional third party statement) then the consumer can sue for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability.
Small claims is appropriate for cases under $5,000
Sometimes a settlement can be reached.
Here is a template to a demand letter
It is best to send certified, return receipt requested, so it can be mentioned in any legal filing that the plaintiff attempted an out of court settlement (judges look favorably upon that as it shows respect for the court's time). It also helps to include any proof of the defect -i.e. third party statements.
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.