Glennie Williams (plaintiff) worked for the City of Yonkers (defendant) as a maintenance worker, a position that required a valid commercial driver’s license to operate a garbage truck. Williams did not maintain his license, and the city terminated him. Williams brought a petition against the city under a New York law that allows courts to review the actions of public bodies like cities, known as an “article 78” proceeding. Williams’s article 78 petition claimed he could not renew his license because of a learning disability and that his union should have either grieved his termination or obtained a hearing beforehand. However, because the applicable statute of limitations had expired, the court denied Williams’s petition and dismissed the case as time-barred. Williams retained an attorney to bring a second lawsuit against the city, alleging he was wrongfully discharged in breach of his union’s collective bargaining agreement. The trial court dismissed the second lawsuit as precluded by res judicata, and Williams appealed.