Former AFL footballer and Nine News Adelaide sports presenter Warren Tredrea has been spared from having to pay his former employer’s legal fees.

Mr Tredrea launched legal action against Channel Nine in South Australia, claiming the network unfairly terminated his contract in January 2022 because he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

He lost his unfair dismissal case against his former employer in March.

The former Port Adelaide captain and premiership player was initially seeking almost $6 million in lost wages.

Federal Court Justice Geoffrey Kennett handed down his ruling on costs on Friday.

Justice Kennett noted that Channel Nine had “sought an order for indemnity costs, relying on five offers which it had made to settle the proceeding”.

But the judge found Mr Tredrea’s rejection of Nine’s offers to settle his case was not vexatious.

“There is no order as to the costs of the proceeding,” the judgement stated.

The outcome means Mr Tredrea will pay for his own legal costs, while Nine will cover their successful defence of the claim.

Judgement details settlement offers

The court previously accepted Nine’s argument that Mr Tredrea’s contract was not going to be renewed in November 2022 because of his performance in the job.

Warren Tredrea departed Nine News Adelaide in 2022.(Supplied: Instagram)

During the case, Nine’s Adelaide news director Jeremy Pudney told the court other grounds for Mr Tredrea’s dismissal included the impacts to the network’s and Mr Tredrea’s reputations following “inaccurate” comments made on a local radio station about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Justice Kennett found that while there may have been a case had Mr Tredrea been terminated solely on the grounds of a breach of COVID policy, the dismissal was supported on the other grounds.

The judgement shows that after initially demanding $3.8 million in March 2022, Mr Tredrea later offered to settle the proceeding for $176,458 in July 2023, “representing the payments due for the remainder of the term of the Services Agreement, plus interest and costs”.

“Channel 9’s solicitors responded … [and] they rejected the applicants’ offer,” the judgement read.

Court documents revealed Channel Nine offered to settle the proceeding with an offer of $50,000, and again with a larger “contribution” of $120,000 “towards the applicants’ costs”.

In April, Mr Tredrea formally lodged appeal documents with the Federal Court, seeking to challenge Justice Kennett’s dismissal of his claim.