The "victim" and his wife and I think they have kids are good friends with my uncle. I will say this, he will be the first person to walk up to you, shake your hand and introduce himself. Very friendly and nice. I think this whole thing was misfortunate and a simple case of having too much to drink, and lack of thinking things thru.
I feel really lucky in that I have not seen a single drop in business through this whole downturned economy. I'm in a position to take care of his mistake, but I think it goes without much saying that there are a million other things I could use that money for on the trailer.
Thank you for all your thoughts and advice. I'm sure I will look back and laugh someday. Certainly not anytime soon, but someday.
Oh and Massyfarm, if the trailer only takes 3 months to redo, I will pay his medical bills, offer him a job, and pay for medical insurance.